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Volume VII 

March, 1966 

Number 1 




Volume VII March, 1966 Number 1 

Published four times yearly in March, June, September and December, by 
the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 North Highland Avenue, Pitts- 
burgh, Pa. 15206, one of the seven seminaries of the United Presbyterian 
Church in the U. S. A. Second-class postage paid at Pittsburgh, Pa. Changes 
of address should be sent to the Seminary, care of the Director of the Mail- 
ing Department. 

Edifor: James Arthur Walther, Th.D. 

Publications Committees 
Faculty Student 

Malcolm S. Alexander David Kearns-Preston, Chmn. 

Lynn B. Hinds, Chmn. 
J. A. Walther 

J. Rowe Hinsey, ex. off. 

William R. Atkins, ex. off. 

William R. Phillippe, ex. off. 

Circulation: Rev. E. D. McKune 

Secretarial Assistant: Mrs. Elizabeth Eakin 

Cover Photo — Seminary Chapel: Raymond J. Marquette 

Ad Hoc 2 

From the President's Desk 3 

The Original and the Present Function of Confession Books 5 

by Dietrich Ritschl 

rhe Authority of the Bible as Reflected in the 

Proposed Confession of 1967 17 

by William F. Orr 

The Concept of Reconciliation in the Proposed Confession of 1967 31 

by George H. Kehm 

The Proposed Confession and Social Ethics 40 

by Walter E. Wiest 

Subscriptional Authority 52 

by William A, Nicholson 

Book Reviews and Notes 

Neufeld, The Earliest Christian Confessions 59 

J. A. Walther 

Cochrane, Reformed Confessions of the l6th Century 60 

Dietrich Ritschl 

Berton, The Comfortable Pew 61 

Iain Wilson 

Bainton, The Horizon History of Christianity 62 

Hillerbrand, The Reformation 63 

Ad Hoc 

t This issue is a modest attempt to make a contribution to the discussioifi 
of the proposed Confession of 1967. 


" The Publications Committee has responded to a plea for editorial helpj 
by securing faculty committees to assist in planning some special issues of 
Pittsburgh Perspective to treat moot contemporary topics. The committee for 
this present issue has been Professors Markus Barth, George Kehm, and Iain 
Wilson. The Editor records his appreciation to these men, to the colleagues 
who responded to requests for the particular articles, to Professor John Gerst- 
ner for special help, and to the members of the Publications Committee. 

Professor Ritschl has written an historical examination of the back- 
ground against which we treat our confessional stance today. Professors Orr, 
Kehm, and Wiest have dealt with three out of a number of possible critical 
areas of discussion stirred up by the new proposal. And Professor Nicholson! 
writes about the matter of subscription, a critical point for the minister who 
would assess "the new confession." 

Among the reams of writing that have been expended on our topic, we 
commend two for your special attention. Clifford R. Hawkins, Class of 1946, 
has prepared a Study Guide for use with the "Proposal." This fine booklet has 
been well received and merits wide use. It may be secured from the First 
United Presbyterian Church, 225 South Valley Road, Paoli, Pennsylvania! 
19301, at 50^ per copy. The January number of our sister publication 
McCormick Quarterly (Volume XIX, Number 2) is devoted to a study of the 
new "Proposal." Professor Elwyn Smith of our faculty is a contributor. This 
journal may be obtained from the Seminary Publication Office, 800 West 
Belden Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60614, at 40^ per copy. Another resource 
soon to be available is noted by Professor Ritschl in our Book Reviews and! 

While we have no formal subscription rate, persons who want additional 
copies of this journal (as available) may wish to defray the Seminary's 
expense at the rate of 50^ for single copies, 40^ in quantities of five or more. 

— /. A. W. 

' From the President's Desk— ^ s ' ^ i ^^ 

Confessions of faith are as old in the church as the days of our 
Lord. Some men who knew Jesus were convinced that He was the Messiah, 
and said so while He lived. His death and resurrection, without reducing the 
confidence in His Messiahship, added to it an equal confidence in His Lord- 
ship. To the simple affirmations of Jesus' Messiahship and Lordship were 
added more elaborate statements of who this Jesus was — such as His pre- 
existence. His unique relation to God, etc. — and of what His significance was 
to the world, to history, and to the whole cosmos. 

The various confessions served many purposes. Broadly speaking, they 
pointed in two major directions. First, they spoke to the church, in order to 
articulate that by which the church lived in such a fashion that its life would 
be continually nourished, that its health should be preserved from the virus 
of heresies, and that Christians would remain faithful during persecution. 
Second, the various confessions spoke to the world in order to evangelize, to 
catechize, to explain and defend against misunderstanding and hostility. 

These two major functions of the early creeds have been carried for- 
ward throughout Christian history. Again and again the church has had to 
speak to itself and to its world in the light of ever-changing historic circum- 
stances. The constant element in the ever-changing process has been Jesus. 
He stands at the center of every creed of the church. The forms by which 
the church has sought to explain Him, however, have been modified from age 
to age in order to speak the language of the various periods of the church's 
life. What the church has had to say to the world has been articulated in the 
light of the particular needs of the world at specific times. 

Creeds are necessary, as new efforts to make them are often necessary. 
It is neither new nor startling, therefore, for the church to seek a reformula- 
tion of her faith in a form adaptable to the time and issues which we now 
face. The aim should be to seek the broadest possible consensus consistent with 
the Scriptures, and to do this in the mood suggested by the Scriptures: "Be 
humble always and gentle, and patient too. Be forbearing with one another 
and charitable. Spare no effort to make fast with bonds of peace the unity 
which the Spirit gives. ... So shall we at last attain to the unity inherent in 
our faith and our knowledge of the Son of God — to mature manhood, meas- 


ured by nothing less than the full stature of Christ" (Eph. 4:2,3,13 NEB). 
Whether the present eflFort to restate the church's faith shall be unifying or 
divisive, edifying or debilitating, will depend largely on the extent to which! 
the above apostolic admonition is heeded. | 

"The evil habit of men in all times to criticize their predecessors 
for having seen only half of the truth hides from them their own 
partiality and incompleteness." 

— H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America. 

The Original and the Present Function 
of Confession Books 

by Dietrich Ritschl* 

C.ONFESSION BOOKS are an inven- 
tion typical of Reformation theology, 
especially of Melanchthon's concept 
of the Church with its "doctrinal 
corpus!' His idea of the necessity and 
the importance of a consensus de 
doctrina in the Church has influenced 
most branches of the Reformation 
Church, certainly the Lutheran and 
the Reformed. In discussing the sig- 

nificance of such Reformation Con- 
fession Books for the Church today 
we deal automatically with the pre- 
suppositions of the question whether 
it has become necessary and possible 
to write a new Confession Book in 
addition to the old ones. I take it that 
our series of articles is concerned 
with a combination of these two 
questions: what significance do the 
Reformation Confession Books have 
for the Church today? and what 
should our attitude be toward a new 
Confession Book? We will deal here 
with the first question only, bearing 
in mind that it provides the basis for 
the second. 


IVATHER THAN ASK in general 
terms, "Should the Church today still 
'confess' in the form of Reformation 
Confessions?" we ask concretely, 
"What is the place of the classical, 
European Confession Books of Ref- 
ormation and post-Reformation the- 
ology in contemporary American 
theology and Church life?" The de- 
signations "European" and "Amer- 
ican" should be taken seriously right 
from the beginning of the discussion, 

* Dr. Ritschl is Professor of History of Doctrine and Systematic Theelogy. 


for in recent years we have main- 
tained that it is not our task to trans- 
port European theology to the Amer- 
ican scene. There seems to be a con- 
sensus that we should learn from the 
Europeans but no longer copy them 
)i we want to do theology which is 
organically connected with the Amer- 
ican mentality in general and the 
American Church in particular. 

Having emphasized the European 
origin of the Reformation Confession 
Books, we examine our concrete ques- 
tion by breaking it down into two 
groups of special problems, one sys- 
tematic-theological, the other histor- 
ical. A simple list of these two blocks 
of problems will clarify our question 
and bring to light its implications. 

A listing of basic systematic- 
theological issues will entail the fol- 
lowing questions : 

1. What is a Confession Book? 
Does it state what God in Christ has 
done and has promised to do, or does 
it formulate what the Christians are 
supposed to believe and to do? Is it a 
creed or a program, or are these theo- 
logically ultimately the same? 

2. Who is supposed to hear the 
confession expressed in a Confession 
Book? Those who adhere to it, or 
other Christians too, or non-Chris- 

3. If a Confession Book is the ex- 
pression of one denomination's under- 
standing of faith, is it non-ecumenical 
in intent, or is its theological intent 
catholic and only its de jure authority 

limited to a denomination? 

4. Are the sentences contained in 
a Confession Book of juridical char- 
acter (like those of conciliar deci- 
sions and much of medieval theolo- 
gical language) ; and if so, would this 
not mean a clear departure from the 
"confessions" contained in the Bible? 

5. Who can write a Confession 
Book: an individual (leading the 
Church into a new direction), or 
many Church representatives (ex- 
pressing what the Church already 
stands for)? 

6. Is not theology "by definition" 
time-hound to such great extent that 
Churches at later periods and in dif- 
ferent places cannot "repeat" earlier 

These dogmatical problems have 
been relevant constantly since the 
Reformation. The various Protestant 
denominations have answered them 
in different ways. But in addition to 
these dogmatical questions we today 
face some historically coiiditioned 
problems. They come into focus when 
we compare the l6th and early 17th 
centuries with our situation today: 

1. With few exceptions the 
Churches of the Reformation were 
tied to certain territories; their Con- 
fession Books, consequently, bear the 
names of cities or countries. Our 
Churches today in America (and in 
Europe for that matter) no longer 
are structured in this fashion. The ter- 
ritorial jurisdiction and ecclesiastical 
apparatus of the Reformation century 


have no parallel in America. 

2. Connected with this simple 
observation is the most complex ques- 
tion: who in our modern world 
occupies the place of the emperor on 
the Continent or the king in England 
or France, or the magistrates in the 
various cities? Without such authori- 
ties these Confession Books would 
never have been written. In other 
words, the classical Confession Books 
presuppose what we today call the 
"Constantinian Era," an era in which 
absolutely everybody was considered 
a Christian, though often a Roman 
Catholic Christian, but nonetheless a 
Christian. This is certainly no longer 
true in our situation. 

3. Again connected with this fact 
is the still more complicated ques- 
tion: can we today still assume that 
the theology of a denomination, even 
of a single congregation, can be for- 
mulated, i.e., articulated in written 
sentences which say precisely what 
they are supposed to say.^ Admittedly 
this is a controversial question, but 
most theologians here and in other 
countries would say today that we no 
longer can "use language" in this v/ay. 
An indication of this is the generally 
accepted faa that neither the ruling 
bodies of our denominations nor our 
theological faculties can "define 
heresy" and "condemn heretics" with 
the same optimistic directness that 
characterized the actions of our an- 
cestors in the Reformation Churches. 

4. Protestant denominations in 

America face a special problem be^ 
cause of the historical fact that Amer- 
ica never "had a Reformation." Most 
of the denominations in this part of 
the world are continuations or pro- 
longations of European denomina- 
tional bodies. This would theoretical- 
ly permit a given denomination in 
America today — many generations 
after its "re-founding" on this con- 
tinent — to select freely from the great 
number of Reformation Confession 
Books whichever ones its members 
would like best. This freedom with 
regard to the Reformation tradition 
has its truly ecumenical aspects and 
problems, but there is no denying 
that the Churches which came out of 
the Reformation did not, as a matter 
of course, have this freedom. We 
must realize that this freedom con- 
stitutes a decisive difference between 
our denominations and the territorial 
Churches of l6th and 17th century 
Europe. (To the package of the 
"Confession of 1967" belongs the 
adoption of the Scots Confession, the 
Heidelberg Catechism and the Second 
Helvetic Confession; if not an ecu- 
menical witness, this is at least a 
testimony that our denomination be- 
longs to the Reformed family of 
Churches; but why just these three 
out of the more than sixty Reformed 
Confession Books.'* ) 

It is by asking these dogmatical 
and historically conditioned questions 
that the implications of our topic can 
be clarified. The classical Reforma- 


tion Confession Books were meant to 
be a help and tool in the daily strug- 
gles of those by whom and for whom 
these books were written. Often they 
were a life necessity; for without 
them the worldly powers would not 
have permitted the juridical exis- 
tence, worship, and teaching of the 
various branches of the Reformation 
Church. To us, however, the Refor- 
mation Confession Books often seem 
to be a burden, an unfortunate heri- 
tage which, in its historically condi- 
tioned heterogeneity, seems to create 
and perpetuate divisions within Prot- 
estantism, not to mention the per- 
petuation of anti-Roman Catholic 
sentiments. What then is the place of 
these European Confession Books of 
a time long past in today's Protestant 
denominations in America.'* 


Our examination so far has 
resulted in the emphasis on the enor- 
mous difference between the Refor- 
mation century in Europe and our 
time in America. But could it perhaps 
be that beneath the surface there is 
more of a similarity and inner con- 
nection between these two periods? 
Are the general theological reasons 
that prompted our fathers to write 
their Confession Books unacceptable 
or incomprehensible to us? If we no 
longer understand their reasons, then 
surely the Confession Books have no 
place in our time. If however, we 

understand their motives and intents 
but find them unacceptable or in- 
applicable in our time and situation, 
it is by no means to be concluded that 
we can throw overboard the ancient 
Confession Books. 

As already mentioned above, the 
idea of writing a Confession Book 
had grown out of the early Reforma- 
tion movement. The reasons for their 
actual publication were largely poli- 
tical. This can be seen clearly in the 
history of the earliest Reformed Con- 
fessions, e.g., those of Zurich in 1523, 
and of Bern in 1528, but especially in 
the history of the origin of the most 
influential Lutheran Confession, the 
Augsburg Confession of 1530. Some 
lesser known written confessions of 
the (unfortunately) so-called pre- 
Reformation period may have paved 
the way to this development. It is 
generally agreed that the early Re- 
formed and Lutheran Confessions 
were the expression of what these 
Churches actually believed (although 
individual theologians were the au- 
thors) ; the Confessions were not pro- 
grams, telling the Church members 
what to believe. The 19th-cenmry 
view that the Confession Books 
"founded" Churches and denomina- 
tions has been refuted with good 
reasons, although of course in retro- 
spect it often looks as though cer- 
tain documents had initiated and 
preserved denominational structures. 
The better theologians in Reforma- 
tion and post-Reformation times, 



however, always knew that a group of 
congregations, a "demonination" as 
we call it today, does not "have" a 
confession but rather is part of the 
Church of Jesus Christ m its confes- 
sion. A confession is by biblical- 
theological "definition" an even/: and 
not a possession. This insight is 
obscured, however, by the rather 
"legal" language, typical of most of 
the classical Confessions. The Luther- 
ans, although being aware of the 
danger, tried not to make a difference 
between what we may call the "cre- 
dal" part of a Confession and the 
"Church order" part. This was in 
keeping with the earliest tradition of 
the Early Church. The Didache, for 
example, does not differentiate be- 
tween theological-credal sentences 
and praaical instructions concerning 
the order of congregational life and 
worship. Only later developments 
show a split between the two. The 
Lutherans tried to avoid this. The 
Reformed, however, seem to have fol- 
lowed the tradition of the later Early 
Church by continuing the medieval 
Church's interest in legal structures 
and juridical propositions. They 
usually wrote two types of Confession 
Books, a proper "Confession" and a 
"Church Order." But both groups, the 
Lutherans and the Reformed, used 
legal language for the writing of their 
normative books. 

Despite this basic similarity be- 
tween the Lutheran and the Re- 
formed Confession Books, there is an 

interesting difference which, however, 
is not noticeable to the reader of one 
single Reformed Confession, but only 
to the historian who knows most or 
all of them: the Reformed Churches 
of the l6th century produced over 
sixty Confession Books whereas the 
Lutherans merely added explanatory 
books to their basic Confession, the 
Augsburg Confession. This is an im- 
portant difference. It indicates that 
the Lutherans had a concept of the 
unity of the Church which demanded 
a unified and uniform theological 
formulation. The Augsburg Confes- 
sion was ( and still is ) considered the 
basis; and the subsequent books are 
structured along the main topics of 
this basic document, serving as com- 
mentaries, amplifications and clarifi- 
cations. The total sum of them is con- 
tained in the Book of Concord of 
1580, The later parts of the collection 
reflect the controversies with other 
Protestant groups, such as certain Lu- 
theran branches, and of course with 
the Reformed Churches. It is only 
natural that these documents are 
more technical-theological than the 
early Augsburg Confession, and this 
means that they are even more "prop- 
ositional" and "legal" as far as the 
character of their language is con- 
cerned. Parts of their content are in 
fact so technical and specialized that 
many Lutheran Churches in later cen- 
turies (and today) almost disregard 
these later additions or at least ascribe 
to them a lesser degree of authority. 



The Reformed, however, obviously 
had a different concept of the Church. 
This is partly due to the different 
political situation in the Western 
European countries, but nonetheless 
it is a theological difference. The Re- 
formed Church bodies that came into 
being in various parts of Europe, 
especially Western Europe, but also 
Poland and Hungary, were familiar 
with the earliest Swiss Confessions, 
but it never occurred to them to copy 
these concessions or to declare one of 
them to he the basic confession. The 
Scottish Church, for instance, found 
her identity and theological integrity 
through the help of various Conti- 
nental Confession Books, and her the- 
ologians praised these books and 
found nothing wrong in them, but 
they soon wrote their own confession! 
This attitude shows considerable 
theological responsibility and in- 
dependence, but it is of course at the 
same time the origin of dangerous 
developments. Within one century 
the Reformed produced over sixty 
different Confession Books which 
were not meant to be in competition 
with each other. But this was unfor- 
tunately the seed for later divisions 
and splits. In fact no Protestant 
Church has seen in her historical de- 
velopment as many divisions and off- 
shoots as has the Reformed Church. 
And this was possible although the 
Reformed had the chance to learn 
from the development of the Luther- 
an Church; for with the exception of 

the Formula of Concord all Lutheran 
Confession Books were completed by 
the year 1555, but m.ost of the Re- 
formed Confessions were written in 
the decades following that year. This 
means that the Reformed knew what 
they were doing when they decided 
not to follow the Lutheran pattern of 
declaring one Book to be normative. 
And this must be understood as an 
expression of their concept of the 
Church: the Church is not divided by 
a multiplicit)^ of confessions, but this 
multiplicity is a necessity since \t is 
theologically impossible to adopt the 
earlier Confession of a Church body 
in another geographical area. 

This, in turn, indicates what the 
original Reformed concept of a Con- 
fession Book is: a Confession does 
not lay down for good and forever a 
principle of doctrine which is to be 
accepted by other and later groups 
of Reformed congregations. This 
thought was already expressed by 
Ursinus, the co-author of the Heidel- 
berg Catechism, when he said that a 
Confession is not laying down prin- 
ciples, but is a witness and "pointer" 
to the understanding of faith, an 
understanding which must be artic- 
ulated in accordance with a given 
historical situation. One must not for- 
get, however, that Luther had a 
similar insight when he explained in 
his essay "On Councils and Churches" 
in 1539 that each confession must be 
understood in its historical context. 

Why then could it happen that 



both the Lutherans and the Reformed 
despite these better insights treated 
their Confession Books as though 
they were "legal documents" express- 
ing once and for all the correct 
understanding of the faith? For both 
groups did this in their own way, the 
Lutherans by declaring the Augsburg 
Confession to be the norma normata 
(further clarified in the later Con- 
fessions) as distinct from Scripture, 
the norma normans ( — who really 
understands this difference? — ), and 
the Reformed by absolutizing their 
particular historical Confession Books. 
Comparing, for instance, the Luther- 
ans with the Presbyterians, we can 
observe that the former declared their 
earliest confession to be most impor- 
tant and normative, whereas the latter 
"ascribed all dignity and authority to 
the latest of their confessions, the 
"Westminster Confession. 

This brief historical excursus has 
shown that both the Lutherans and 
the Reformed in their earliest history 
have by all means been aware of the 
theological impossibility of artic- 
ulating the understanding of the 
Christian faith in once-and-for-all 
fixed terms, but that both Church 
bodies have nevertheless moved in 
this direction. The Confession Books 
themselves were written in rather 
"legal" and propositional language, 
probably because from their inception 
the earliest of them had to serve as 
instruments of defense and as bases 
for debates. This unfortunate histor- 

ical inevitability invited later readers 
to assume that it is a theological 
necessity to lay down the normative 
understanding of the faith in legally 
binding documents, written in prop- 
ositional language. 

We conclude, then, that we today 
are by no means unable to understand 
why our fathers have written Confes- 
sion Books. As members of Reformed 
or Lutheran Churches we appreciate 
and respect the reasons and intents 
that have led to the writing of these 
theological documents. Moreover, as 
members of a Reformed Church we 
are willing to learn from the early Re- 
formed theologians what we should 
think of the function and task of a 
specific part of the Church in a spe- 
cific geographical and historical situa- 
tion. And more than this: we cannot 
disconnect ourselves from the content 
of the Confession Books which have 
been the witness of the early fathers 
of our historic denominations, as 
though we had nothing to do with 
their work, or as though there were 
no unity of the Church between past 
and present. ( It is dangerous to think 
of the unity of the Church merely in 
the "horizontal" direaion.) This 
understanding of our solidarity with 
the Reformed fathers, even with the 
particular authors of but one Confes- 
sion (as unfortunate a development 
as this may be), does not mean that 
we must agree with all the points 
which they felt it necessary to stress 
in their particular time. By this I do 




not mean that we should "select" 
from their works some passages 
which we will not "accept" and others 
which we will declare to be still 
"normative." Rather we should do 
what these fathers did themselves: 
learn from earlier confessions, taking 
them as truly catholic confession of 
faith expressed in and by a particular 
part of the catholic Church (a part 
with which we are intimately con- 
nected through historical develop- 
ment), and contribute our own con- 
fession. This will imply that we do 
precisely what these fathers did, 
namely leave out some of the em- 
phases of earlier Confessions and add 
new ones. Naturally, the few decades 
during which the main Reformed 
Confession Books were written were 
the classical period of numerous for- 
mulations and re-formulations of 
"justification by faith." After many 
centuries, we today will not merely 
rearrange the structure of the earlier 
Confessions or re-formulate what they 
have said; rather we will be forced to 
concentrate on topics that were en- 
tirely left out by the l6th and 17th 
century theologians, such as ethics 
and ecclesiology. But this approach is 
well in line with what they them- 
selves had done on a smaller scale 
within the period of a few decades. 


Having answered the question 

whether we today can understand, ap- 

preciate, and respect the intentions 
and actual formulations of the authors 
of early Confession Books, though 
without copying or merely repeating 
these formulations, we must raise the 
difficult question whether the form of 
a Confession Book is perhaps obso- 
lete. There is no doubt that the classi- 
cal books were a novelty in the his- 
tory of the Church. The early and 
medieval Church lived for many cen- 
turies without such confessional 
books. The so-called symbols of the 
Early Church have little in common 
with the confessional books of the 
Reformation era. Not only were they 
much shorter and centered around the 
Trinity rather than the doctrine of 
justification, but the primary differ- 
ence is in the original purpose of the 
early symbols: they were intended to 
be understood "doxologically," i.e., 
used primarily in worship — although 
at a later time they received recogni- 
tion as dogmatical formulations. Of 
the various Churches that came out 
of the I6th century Reformation, 
only the Anglican Communion has 
preserved this insight in the organic 
and original connection between the- 
ological "statements" and worship. 
The Book of Common Prayer truly 
serves as a Confession Book. 

The decision of the Lutheran and 
Reformed theologians to write care- 
fully-worded theological documents 
may appear problematical if seen in 
the light of the total history of the 
Church. If it is true that a "confes- 



sion" in the original sense is an event 
(e.g., like Peter's confession which 
was literally addressed to Jesus him- 
self as an answer to Jesus' person and 
work in general and to his question 
in particular), do we have the right 
to cast our confession in the form of 
a written, theological document'^. 
Moreover, if it is true, as I Cor. 12:3 
says, that no one can confess "Jesus is 
Lord, except in the Holy Spirit," the 
undertaking of formulating a kind of 
"essence of the biblical message" 
must appear as highly problematical. 
But the idea of formulating a "sum- 
mary" seems to be a necessary part of 
the definition of a written confession. 
Already Luther said this when he 
spoke of a suwi'ina doctrinae fidei in 
his Larger Catechism; and the For- 
mula of Concord (preface to Epit- 
ome) speaks of Confession Books as 
"the layman's Bible"! The Reformed 
did not disagree with this; although 
theoretically they were more reluctant 
than the Lutherans to assign Scrip- 
ture-like place of authority to the 
Confession Books, practically they 
often did nothing short of this 
(especially the Presbyterians whose 
estimation of the Westminster Stand- 
ards is much higher than the Euro- 
pean Reformed Churches' attitude 
toward their Confessions ) . 

Despite the Reformers' concentra- 
tion on the doctrine of justification, 
and the subsequent interest in this 
doctrine, the Confession Books at- 
tempted to do more than merely 

stress and expound this central bibli- 
cal message. Had they only done this, 
we could categorize the confessional 
documents as proclamations and ex- 
plications of but one much neglected 
and ill-conceived biblical insight, 
highly necessary to be brought to 
light in that particular time of 
Church history. To understand this 
would not present any problems at 
all, and we today could simply say 
that we too must stress in an appro- 
priate form whatever must be 
brought to light in our time. But the 
Confession Books indeed present 
more than this one emphasis. There 
must have been — rightly or wrongly 
— an awareness that the whole doc- 
trinal apparatus of the Church needs 
revision and re-interpretation. Con- 
sequently the authors of these books, 
though neglecting some important 
loci, really attempted to rewrite the 
theology of the Church, presenting 
truly what they directly or indirectly 
had learned from Melanchthon, a 
siimnia doctrinae fidei. It may be that 
it was really the task of these men to 
attempt this enormous theological 
work; and if it was, then the century 
of the Reformation is indeed qualita- 
tively in some way parallel to the 
century during which the New Testa- 
ment was written. But few Protestant 
theologians would advocate this view, 
especially today when we are made 
aware of genuine theological and con- 
gregational activities in the Roman 
Catholic Church, of which genera- 



tions of Protestants had such a dim 
view. In other words, although we 
can understand that and why the 
fathers of the Reformation attempted 
to rewrite the whole theology of the 
Church, we are amazed at their self- 
confidence and optimism that they 
were able to accomplish such. Leaving 
open the historically meaningless 
question as to whether they should or 
should not have attempted this task 
in the first place, we must admit that 
we today certainly do not feel able or 
obliged to plan a repetition of this 
most daring enterprise. 

We now face an unpleasant dilem- 
ma. On the one hand we concluded 
that we can and must do precisely 
what the authors of the classical 
documents did: learn from earlier 
Confessions and respect them, and 
add our own confessions to them, 
though stressing different loci. And 
on the other hand we expressed 
severe doubts as to the possibility 
and theological legitimacy of for- 
mulating "the whole theology" in 
form of a document. We are probably 
left with but one alternative: we 
ought to resist the temptation of re- 
writing the whole of theology, either 
by making the product a substitute or 
an addition to our inherited Confes- 
sion Book or Books, and we should 
restrict our theological and confes- 
sional activities to work on specific 
issues, such as "basic human rights," 
peace and war, food distribution, 
international relations, ecumenical 

contacts — in short, to ethical ques- 
tions seen in relation to the task of 
the Church. By doing this we will not 
claim that these loci exhaustively 
circumscribe the total confession or 
even the task of the Church; but we 
will indicate that these are the areas 
which have been badly neglected by 
both Christians and non-Christians, 
and that this neglea can no longer 
be tolerated in the light of our "total 
confession," although we admit that 
at this time we are unable to artic- 
ulate this total confession in the form 
of a written document. 

This approach is suggested not 
only by our obvious "theological 
helplessness," so typical today of the 
various Protestant denominations and 
also of large quarters of the Roman 
Catholic Church. Another reason also 
supports this deliberate self-restric- 
tion: we no longer face the need of 
stating "all of our beliefs" to be criti- 
cally evaluated by worldly rulers, 
such as emperors, kings, or magis- 
trates, with whom we disagree but 
who by definition are "Christian," and 
who have the right to permit or to 
forbid our existence. This situation 
may exist elsewhere in the world, but 
it certainly does not exist in America 
at this time. The classical Confession 
Book was only possible during the 
"Constantinian Era," and that means 
the era before the Enlightenment 
when the traditional territorial and 
parochial structure of the Protestant 
Churches collapsed, and when the 



optimism regarding the possibility of 
articulating a unified theology began 
to disappear. 

There seems to be a consensus 
among responsible Protestant theo- 
logians today that we cannot afford to 
disconnect ourselves from our con- 
fessional heritage. In fact the more 
ecumenically minded churchmen have 
recognized during the past few 
decades that true ecumenical work, 
i.e., mutual confidence and under- 
standing, even "confidence beyond 
understanding," is possible only for 
Churches that are aware of and faith- 
ful to their confessional heritage. 
Moreover, there seems to be an in- 
creasing awareness that our task to- 
day consists of facing the specific 
issues that trouble our fellowmen in 
the broadest sense of the word, not 
merely our fellow-Christians. The 
Church's "confession" is needed in 
these specific areas, and this confes- 
sion will at least partly consist of con- 
fessing our sins and omissions. It is 
a strange and unique mark of the 
Church that she is called to confess in 
one and the same breath her omis- 
sions of the past and new directions 
for the future. This doubleness 
creates an enormous tension, both in- 
side the Church and in the minds of 
those non-Christians who try to 
understand us. 

Thus completely new insights 
seem to begin shaping our theolo- 
gical thinking today. We are no 
longer unaware of the unique his- 

torical situation which certainly never 
existed before: that Christians and 
non-Christians alike face the same 
questions, although they give dif- 
ferent answers. In other words, our 
time is unique in that Christians 
(hopefully of all denominations), 
humanists, Conmiunists, psychiatrists, 
et al. are deeply concerned with the 
same questions and problems: peace, 
food for the world, birth control, 
housing, labor, etc. These questions 
concerning man seem to unite man- 
kind today, and this is the most posi- 
tive result of the end of the Constan- 
tinian era although there is no deny- 
ing that the answers to these ques- 
tions still create the deepest divisions 
in mankind. 

It is in the realm of these questions 
that we today must make our "con- 
fession." We will do this in the 
awareness that we cannot and should 
not separate ourselves from our de- 
nominational heritage, but we wlQ 
also hope that Churches of different 
denominational traditions will not 
produce different "confessions" con- 
cerning the present issues on account 
of their different heritage. This is to 
say that the traditional divisions of 
the Reformation century perhaps no 
longer constitute the decisive differ- 
ences between Christians. Our "spe- 
cific confessions" concerning the pres- 
ent issues will draw new lines of 
separation through the Protestant 
Churches, even through the Protestant 
and the Catholic Churches. When we 



nevertheless make these "specific con- 
fessions," we do it not with the in- 
tent to exclude from the Church the 
ethically and politically uninterested 
or "reactionary" members; but we do 
it in the hope that what we now con- 
jess is vicariously valid for the whole 
Catholic Church. All confessions, the 
all-embracing Confession Books of 
the Reformation as well as our spe- 
cific confessions, are proposed in hope 
and not in the naive certainty that 
they express today what all members 
of God's household actually stand for. 
In this sense we can say that confes- 
sions are always of "catholic dimen- 
sions" although they were written by 
a minority within the Church, either 
by a particular denomination (as in 
Reformation times) or by a particular 
group which may be composed of 
members of various denominations. 


Jdy way of summarizing we can 

say that the present Protestant de- 
nominations in America will probably 
always express their solidarity with 
their European ancestors and conse- 
quently will honor particular Confes- 
sion Books. But they will be aware of 
the important historical and theo- 
logical differences between the Ref- 
ormation century in Europe and their 
present situation on the other side of 
the Atlantic. They will feel free to 

"enlarge" their confessional basis by 
declaring publicly that they have rec- 
ognized the authority and strength of 
some Confession Books which in the 
past they have neglected to take seri- 
ously and to honor as part of their 
tradition. They will feel compelled to 
follow the pattern set by the Refor- 
mation fathers themselves of adding 
new confessional statements to the 
ancient documents, realizing that 
each time in history presents new 
tasks for the Church and demands 
new articulations of these tasks. But 
the present Protestant denominations 
should restrict their confessional state- 
ments to what we have called "spe- 
cific confessions," accepting the fact 
without lamientations and fear that at 
this time in history we are not in the 
position to formulate anew the whole 
list of theological loci, such as Chris- 
tology, justification, hermeneutics, the 
doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the doc- 
trine of God, and the like. If we 
nevertheless tried to attempt this, the 
product would in all probability be 
either a repetition of what our fathers 
have already said, or it would have to 
be a compromise version of what a 
theological committee "feels" to be 
the average opinion of all the mem- 
bers of the denomination, necessarily 
disregarding the many open ques- 
tions and unanswered problems with 
which academic theology concerns it- 
self at this time. 

The Authority of the Bible as Reflected 
In the Proposed Confession of 1967 

by William F. Orr^ 

. HE New Confession now being 
msidered by the Church for pos- 
ble adoption in 1967 expressly ac- 
?pts the historic reformed confes- 
ons, such as the Heidelberg Cate- 
lism, Scots Confession, the Second 
[elvetic Confession, and the West- 
linster Confession, together with the 

ni(xiern Confession of the Church of 
Germany called the Theological Dec- 
laration of Barmen. In all of these, 
statements concerning the Scriptures 
are made which are not repudiated 
by the new Confession, but rather are 
accepted. Any discussion of the para- 
graphs on the Bible in the new Con- 
fession,^ therefore, must bear in mind 
the Protestant emphasis upon the 
unique authority of the Bible already 
specified in these various historic con- 
fessional statements. However, in 
view of the new situation produced 
by the development of science in the 
last 400 years and by the tremendous 
growth of historical study of the 
ancient civilizations which sur- 
rounded the land of Israel, it is 
deemed advisable by those who have 
formulated the new statement to 
make some afiirmations about the 
Scripture for the modern world. 

The paragraphs on the Bible affirm 
that "Jesus Christ is the Word of 
God Incarnate and the one sufficient 
revelation of God." This seems to me 
to make a valuable shift from the 

Dr. Orr is Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis, and is the senior 

professor of the faculty. 

'roposed Confession of 1967, Part I, Sec. Ill, Par. B. 




older emphasis upon the written 
Scriptures to an emphasis upon the 
living Christ as the sufficient and 
unique revelation of God. In fact, in 
the New Testament, the term the 
Word of God refers to Jesus Christ 
in the prologue to the Gospel of 
John, in the first chapter of the First 
Epistle of John, and probably in the 
sixth chapter of Hebrews. Wherever 
the term Word of God is employed 
in the Book of Acts and Epistles of 
Paul, it usually refers to the message 
of the Gospel, which is spoken by the 
apostles as they evangelize the pagan 
world. So far as I have been able to 
discover, the term Word of God is 
never, I believe, identified with the 

Jesus is called the Word of God 
in John l:lf. "In the beginning was 
the Word and the Word was with 
God and the Word was God." And 
1:14, "the Word became flesh and 
made his dwelling among us." Rev. 
19:13, "his name was called, the 
Word of God." In Hebrews 4:12, 
"for the Word of God is active and 
sharper than every double-edged 
sword, and piercing into the division 
of life and spirit, of joints and mar- 
row, and (is) the judge of the 
thoughts and purposes of the heart; 
and no creation is hidden before him 
but all things are laid bare and ex- 
posed to his eyes, about whom our 
message speaks." Here, just as in the 
other passages, the Word of God is 

not the Scriptures, but a personal 
Being who operates in the conscious- 
ness of men and who has eyes to see 
all things laid bare. This is un- 
doubtedly the living Christ. 1 John 
l:lf. identifies the word of life with 
the manifest or revealed life that we 
saw and heard. The author is refer- 
ring to Jesus whose earthly career 
grants to us life eternal. He is, there- 
fore, the Word of life. 

References to the Scripture in the 
NT generally employ terms like "the 
Law and the Prophets," the "Scrip- 
ture," the Logia or oracles, and the Pro- 
phetic writings. The paragraph in the 
New Confession follows NT usage 
when it states that the Church has 
recognized the Old and New Testa- 
ments as Holy Scriptures. The func- 
tion of the Holy Scriptures in the NT 
is ( 1 ) to preserve the law or the 
commandments of God; (2) to con- 
vict men of sin and to expose their 
condition of guilt; (3) to describe 
God's dealings with Israel under the 
Covenant with Abraham and with 
Moses on Mt. Sinai as a preparation 
for and contrast to God's dealings 
with men under the new Covenant 
ratified by Jesus Christ; (4) to serve 
as a pedagogue to lead us to Christ; 
and (5) to anticipate by prophetic 
insight the salvation which God 
works in Christ's life, death, and 
resurrection. Also the NT preaching 
employs the OT as a means of com- 
mending monotheism to the pagan 
world and of condemning various 



kinds of social corruption and iniqui- 
ties that existed among the Gentiles. 

Allusions to the OT as the Law, 
or the Law and the Prophets, or the 
Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms are 
exhibited in the following references. 
"I came not to abolish the law or the 
prophets" (Matt. 5:17). "Not one 
iota shall pass from the law" (Matt. 
5:18), "This is the law and the 
prophets" (Matt. 7:12). Here we 
have an instance of an allusion to the 
law and the prophets which reduces 
them all to one basic principle: "all 
things whatsoever you will that men 
do to you, you shall do to them, like- 
wise." The statement that the Golden 
Rule is the Law and the Prophets is 
equivalent to affirming that you may 
regard all of the miscellaneous com- 
mandments of the law and all the 
teaching of the prophets to consist in 
the injunction to treat other men as 
you would like to be treated. This 
certainly does not exhibit any slavish 
literalism or insistence upon follow- 
ing the detailed specifications of the 
OT but rather as a sovereign reduc- 
tion to their fundamental principle. 
Many biblicists of his day were high- 
ly offended by Jesus' freedom in so 
dealing with the Scriptures. 

"The prophets and the law proph- 
esied until John" (Matt. 11:13). 
"Did you not read in the law that the 
priests profane the Sabbath in the 
temple?" (Matt. 12:5). "As it has 
been written in the law of the Lord" 

(Luke 2:23). "What has been writ- 
ten in the law; how do you read?" 
(Luke 10:25). "The things that have 
been written in the law of Moses and 
the prophets and the Psalms concern- 
ing me" (Luke 24:44). "Whom 
Moses in the law and the prophets 
described" (John 1:45). "In your 
law it has been written" (John 
8:17). "Has it not been written in 
your law that I said you are gods?" 
(John 10:34). These two verses are 
instances of Christ's reference to a 
law as belonging to his opponents. 
A similar passage is found in John 
15:25, "But in order that the word 
which is written in their law might 
be fulfilled 'they hated me without 
cause'." The use of the second and 
third personal possessive pronoun 
indicates a separation between Jesus 
and his opponents in which he con- 
signs the lav/ to them and seems to 
remove himself from their sphere. 
Also the last two verses share an 
interesting feature of quoting from 
the Psalms while entitling the book 
from which they quote "the law." 
"Does not the law say these things? 
In the law of Moses it has been writ- 
ten, you shall not muzzle the ox that 
treads the grain" (1 Cor. 9:8). "In 
the law it has been written, I spoke to 
this people with foreign languages 
and foreign lips" (1 Cor. 14:21). 
This is another instance of calling a 
book outside the Pentateuch "the 
Law," for the quotation is taken from 
Isaiah 28. 



The Scriptures are called the Logia 
or the words of God in Romans 3:2, 
"What is the advantage of the Jew? 
first that the oracles (or words) of 
God were entrusted to them." The 
law is called the logia or oracles in 
Acts 7:38, "This is what happened in 
the congregation in the desert while 
the angels were speaking to him on 
Mount Sinai who received living 
oracles to give to us." An interesting 
variation in the usage of the word 
logia is found in 1 Peter 4:11, "If 
anyone speaks as speaking oracles of 
God." This injunction bids the readers 
when they speak in the church to 
speak God's words rather than their 
own, which would imply the spirit- 
guidance of the speakers, and would 
equate in value what was said in the 
churches by those so guided with the 
ancient v/ords of the Scripture. 

The NT most often refers to 
the OT as the Scripture or it cites 
passages from the OT with the in- 
troduction ''it has been written." The 
v/ord Scripture itself is a Latin trans- 
lation of the Greek word ypac^-q, both 
of which mean, that which has been 
written. There are 51 uses of this 
word to refer to the OT. Obviously, 
the writers of the OT distinguished 
the Scriptures which had been written 
down from the Word of God which 
came to the various prophets. In the 

OT the phrase "word of God" is 
never used to describe a book- or a 
collection of books, but is used for 
the communication made by God to 
the mind of the prophet. The word 
of God always comes to this-or-that 
prophet. The book written may quote 
what the word of God communicated, 
or it may describe the situation of the 
prophet receiving the communica- 
tion or of the people to whom the 
message was to be proclaimed. But 
there is a careful scruple about call- 
ing the book the word of God. This 
seems to rest upon the conviction that 
God communicated with certain men 
on special occasions in a manner 
which is like a speech, an address, or 
a conversation. It is his message so 
conveyed to the prophet which has 
divine authority. There is no sugges- 
tion anywhere that the narratives 
which describe the history of events 
that furnish the occasion for God's 
word to speak to the prophets were 
themselves part of the word of God. 
In fact, in historical books like Judges 
and 1 Kings, the authority for the 
facts given is usually some other book 
that is referred to under the formula 
"are not these things written in such- 
and-such chronicles of the kings of 
Israel and Judah." It is a confusion 
of biblical categories to label the 
whole collection of volumes as the 
word of God when the Bible itself 

^Except for references to the law as the "book of the Law" in Deuteronomy and to a 
book the contents of which are communicated by a vision as in the book of Daniel. 



carefully refrains from doing so. 

God is regarded in the book of 
Hebrews, passim, as speaking by 
David, and various prophets. The 
Psalms, being poetry, were written 
seriatim under the divine afflatus, 
and verses taken from them could be 
attributed to God.^ 

The term "prophetic writings" is 
found in Romans l6:25f, "According 
to the revelation of the mystery 
which had been kept silent for eternal 
ages but has now been made manifest 
and has been made known by means 
of prophetic writings, according to 
the commandment of the eternal God 
for obedience of faith to all the Gen- 
riles." Here an ambiguity confronts us 
concerning the relationship of the 
phrase "of prophetic writings" to the 
rest of the sentence. The connective 
re seems to separate the phrase from 
the clause "which has now been made 
manifest," and connects it with the 
clause "has been made known accord- 
ing to the commandment of the 
sternal God." This recent information 
has been disclosed to all the Gentiles. 
Therefore the prophetic writings may 
mean contemporary writings of Chris- 
tian prophets, or it may refer to 
Christian understanding of the He- 
brew prophetic writings. In either 
case the prophetic writings enable 
the Gentiles to understand a mystery 
which had been concealed throughout 

eternal ages. In case they are the OT 
prophets, what has now been revealed 
is that to which the prophets bear 
witness, namely, Jesus Christ and the 
Gospel to the Gentiles. In case they 
were contemporary writings of Chris- 
tian prophets, we don't know what 
books are referred to. 

The other instance of the term 
"prophetic word" is found in 2 Peter 
l:19f, "And we hold the prophetic 
word to be more firm, and you will 
do well if you givQ heed to it as to a 
lamp shining in a dark place until 
the day shines forth and the morning 
star rises in your hearts. We know 
this that every prophecy of Scripture 
does not come into being from a 
private interpretation, for the proph- 
ecy then was not carried {or borne) 
by the will of a man, but men who 
were supported by the Holy Spirit 
spoke from God." In this passage the 
readers are enjoined to give attention 
to the prophetic word as to a bright 
and shining light that will illuminate 
us until the great day of light at the 
rising of the morning star in our 
hearts. Now the term "prophetic 
word" appears to refer back to the 
previous paragraph that describes the 
transfiguration of Jesus in which the 
word came from the majestic glory: 
"This is my beloved Son in whom I 
have been well pleased." The first 
point to notice is that the prophetic 

^I owe this reference to the book of Hebrews to the kind suggestion of Dr. Douglas 




word here is one which witnesses to 
Jesus Christ and was spoken to the 
disciples. The writer of the epistle 
affirms that this word is to be our 
light until we get more illumination 
at the dawning of the final light. 
Then he proceeds to affirm that every 
prophetic writing does not come into 
being from a private interpretation 
but from the fact that men spoke as 
they were supported by the Holy 
Spirit. Here too is a doctrine that the 
prophets spoke the word of God and 
that they did not receive this word as 
a result of their own private inter- 
pretation of God's nature and pur- 
pose, or by accepting the purpose or 
will of any man. The support of God 
is hereby assigned to what the proph- 
ets "said," not to what was written. 
It afiirms that the writing down was 
made possible because God had 
previously supplied the prophets 
with his word which they should 
speak. It affirms nothing about the 
writing itself. Undoubtedly the pre- 
supposition is that the writing is a 
faithful reproduction of the message 
of the prophets. Incidentally this pas- 
sage has been used by Roman Cath- 
olics to justify the necessity of eccle- 
siastical interpretation of the Scrip- 
ture over against private interpreta- 
tion. However, if our understanding 
of the passage is correct, the Roman 
Catholics are just as mistaken in their 
understanding of it as the old ortho- 

dox Protestants have been. The Prot- 
estants have affirmed that this passage 
asserts the divine support by the 
Spirit of the writing of the prophecy, 
which is in no way indicated in the 
text, while the Roman Catholics refer 
the phrase "private interpretation" to 
the present tinder standing of the 
prophetic writing while the text re- 
fers it to the original occurrence of 
this writing. Dr. Gerstner's broadside 
assertations that the Bible supports its 
own inspiration in over 3000 places 
and his further claim that this biblical 
inspiration is to be equated with in- 
errancy has precisely no support in 
the Scripture and even such texts as 
this in 2 Peter which have always 
been used to support such arguments 
turn out to mean something entirely 
different."^ The New Confession fol- 
lows this NT procedure by affirming 
that the OT is received as Holy 
Scriptures, bears witness to God's 
faithfulness to Israel, and points the 
way for the fulfillment of his purpose 
in the Jew, Jesus of Nazareth. 

In the NT various references are 
made to the tradition of the apostles. 
For example, St. Paul states in 1 Cor. 
15 that he is delivering to the people 
what he himself received from the 
Lord. This tradition that he received 
evidently came by way of the original 
Apostles. The Gospel of Luke refers 
to the "things that have been handed 

^Cf. footnote 5 infra, p. 25. 



down among us by those who from 
the beginning had become eyewit- 
nesses and servants of the Word." 
Here the term "the Word" obviously 
refers to the life of Jesus Christ. Like- 
wise in the First Epistle of John, the 
introduction states: "What we have 
seen and heard, we announce also to 
you." The object of these verbs is 
specified more in detail in the first 
two verses which say: "What was 
from the begirming, what we heard, 
what we have seen with our eyes, 
what we have beheld and what our 
hands have touched concerning the 
Word of Life, when the Life was 
made public and we have seen and 
now testify and announce to you, 
eternal life which was with the 
Father and which has been made 
manifest to us." This indicates that 
the original witnesses observed the 
Word of Life with their eyes and 
with their ears and felt it with their 
hands. The Word of Life, therefore, 
is Jesus Christ, whose life and Gospel 
are announced by the original wit- 
nesses. The New Confession follows 
this strain of the NT by saying that 
"the New Testament is the recorded 
testimony of Apostles to the coming 
of Jesus Christ." 

The various writers of the NT also 
refer in different ways to the sending 
of the Spirit. The Spirit in the Gospel 
of John is to bring the believers into 
all Truth. In 2 Cor. 3 the Spirit is the 
instrument by which the letter of 
Christ is written on the heart, and the 

Spirit is the agent of the New Cove- 
nant definitely contrasted with the 
Letter of the Old Covenant, so that 
the ministry of the Spirit possesses a 
glory far above that of the ancient 
Law. When the Law is read apart 
from the Spirit, it is covered by a 
veil which prevents the readers from 
understanding that it has been abol- 
ished by Christ (2 Cor. 3:14). This 
means that the written word is not to 
be taken as the ultimate revelation 
but it is to be seen as a witness to the 
new life guided by the Spirit of the 
Lord. Thus the New Confession fol- 
lows the guide of the NT when it 
affirms that "God's Word is spoken 
in his church today where the Scrip- 
tures are faithfully preached and at- 
tentively read in dependence on the 
guidance of the Holy Spirit and with 
readiness to receive their truth and 

Furthermore in the NT wherever 
the various books of the OT are 
referred to, they are mentioned as the 
writings of Moses, the Prophets, 
David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, or other 
men. When prophecies are referred 
to, these are often described as 
spoken by the agency of such-and- 
such men. The Scriptures are not 
directly the Words of God but rather 
the words of various men that convey 
the message of God to believers. The 
New Confession follows this NT 
procedure by stating that the "Words 
of the Scriptures are the words of 
men, conditioned by the language, 



thought-forms, literary fashions of the 
places and times at which they were 
written." This statement acknowl- 
edges what all biblical scholars have 
recognized since the time of Luther: 
that in order to understand the Scrip- 
tures we have to learn the Hebrew 
and Aramaic languages and we have 
to study the types of prose and poetry 
which were current in the times of 
the books. It is necessary for us to 
employ various kinds of word studies 
and to examine the methods of draw- 
ing conclusions from facts which 
were fashionable in the days of 
Israel; and it is likewise imperative 
that we compare the various types of 
literature in the Bible with the litera- 
ture of the Babylonians, Egyptians, 
and ancient Phoenicians whose works 
have been dug up in modern times. 
The necessity of acknowledging these 
facts has become more imperative as 
discoveries in these various literatures 
have been greatly extended in recent 

Furthermore the NT regards the 
contents of the OT as time-condi- 
tioned in many respects. For example, 
Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount 
contrasts the way of life in the King- 
dom of God with that specified by 
the Law in six different items, of 
which, in at least two cases, he cancels 
out express statements of the Law 
(the Lex Talionis and the Law of 
Divorce ) . According to the Gospel of 
Mark, second chapter, Jesus by one 
word cancelled out all the ancient 

specifications concerning clean and 
unclean food. According to the vision 
granted to Peter, God has cleansed all 
men; and Peter is therefore to regard 
nothing as unclean that God has 
cleansed. This involves an annulment 
of all the laws referring to ceremonial 
uncleanness in the OT. The Book of 
Hebrews indicates that the entire 
sacrificial system of the OT was 
merely a shadow and not even a like- 
ness of the reality revealed in Christ 
(Heb. 10:1). It was temporary and 
pedagogical. Now all these statements 
indicate that various instructions of 
the OT, which in their original form 
are given as eternal ordinances, are in 
fact subject to annulment or radical 
revision in light of the revelation of 
God in Christ. This certainly justifies 
the statement of the New Confession 
that "the Scriptures reflect views of 
life, history and the cosmos that were 
then current." While the NT does not 
specifically affirm that the OT views 
of the cosmos are subject to revision, 
our knowledge of the universe and 
space which has developed since 
Copernicus requires the recognition 
that the biblical cosmology reflects 
ideas which were accepted through- 
out the ancient Near East. 

Nevertheless, in all of these re- 
spects, the NT affirms or implies that 
the Scriptures acquaint us with the 
true God, his own personal being, his 
will, and the certain coming of his 
Kingdom. Temporary forms and 
time-conditioned ethical principles in 



the Bible do not diminish the value 
of the Bible as the means by which 
God deals with men. The New Con- 
fession accordingly affirms that the 
variety of such views found in the 
Bible shows that God has communi- 
cated with men in diverse cultural 
conditions. By honestly recognizing 
the diversity of the views in the Bible 
and the interlocking relationship of 
these views on a human level with 
the various cultural patterns and 
forms of the ancient world the New 
Confession can affirm all the more 
confidently that God may continue to 
speak through the Bible to men in 
the modern world which has a cul- 
ture entirely different from that of 
the ancient world. If the thought- 
forms and cultural patterns taken for 
granted in the Bible be identified 
directly with the Word of God, then 
as these thought-forms are antiquated, 
the Word of God is likewise anti- 
quated. But by seeing that God uses 
varieties of thought-forms to com- 
municate himself with men, we can 
also receive his communication to us 
in the twentieth century. 

So far as I can see, those critics of 
the Confession who are attacking it 
as heretical or inadequate have read 
it with eyes prejudiced by the form 
of words prevalent in the seventeenth 
century rather than with eyes illumi- 
nated by the actual witness of the NT 

and by the faas forced upon our at- 
tention by modern sciences and his- 

All of us are concerned with hav- 
ing a biblical confession. I am per- 
sonally convinced that the New Con- 
fession summarizes in a remarkably 
comprehensive manner all of the 
basic teachings of the Bible concern- 
ing itself, better than any previous 
statement has done. As is so often the 
case, people who profess to speak for 
the Bible do so without taking the 
trouble to find out what the Bible 
actually says. One of the critics whose 
words are sharper and more belliger- 
ent than any others I have seen is a 
member of our own faculty, Dr. John 
Gerstner. In an article in Christianity 
Today,° Dr. Gerstner concludes by 
stating, "This Creed is anything but 
sound. We appeal to them no less 
than all others when we urge them in 
the name of Christ whom we all pro- 
fess to love to rescind this Confession 
before it becomes an indelible blem- 
ish on the eschutcheon of the Church." 
Such an employment of purple rhet- 
oric is more of an evidence of the 
eloquence of the author than of the 
prudence with which he condemns 
the New Confession. The entire article 
is written in a spirit that assumes that 
the author is more capable of decree- 
ing what is sound and what is un- 

^Volume X, No. 5 (Dec. 3, 1965), p. 11. This article has appeared as an appendix 
to Dr. Gerstner 's A Bible Inerrancy Primer (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1965), pp. 54-62. 



sound than the committee who had 
been authorized by the General As- 
sembly to do what they did. Further- 
more, he insinuates that the commit- 
tee, while being more honest than 
previous theologians whom Dr. 
Gerstner disapproves of, is still guilty 
of lack of candor. He states that an 
ambiguity in the Confession permits 
"adherents to the Westminster Con- 
fession of Faith to remain in the 
church in good conscience." This, if 
it means anything, must mean that 
the opponents of the Creed can really 
find nothing in its actual statements 
that would prevent them from ac- 
cepting it if it is adopted. If this is 
true, then the only thing the critic 
can attack is what he regards as the 
probable intention of the Committee. 
Whenever a Creed is adopted by a 
Church, no one is committed to any 
intention or lack of intention in the 
minds of committees but is com- 
mitted to the meaning of the words 
adopted. Consequently, Dr. Gerstner 
is battling straw men when he at- 
tacks probable intentions. But he still 
implies that "heresies may lurk in the 
shadows of vague language but all of 
them have not yet dared to come to 
the light." Though his actual sentence 
does not affirm that heresies lurk in 
the shadows, it appears to imply that 
they do; and he seems to be affirming 
that the only reason they were not 
more openly avowed is the cowardice 
of the framers of the Confession. In 
my opinion it is not Christian charity 

nor even ordinary justice to insinuate 
the existence of heresies that have 
not been publicly proclaimed and to 
imply that the concealed heresies are 
being kept under wraps because of 

Another method employed in this 
article is to attack the Confession as 
a Creed which implies no idea of 
inspiration. The fact of the matter is 
that the Confession is based on ac- 
cepting the fact that the doctrine of 
inerrancy is now being discarded, but 
k does not affirm that the Scriptures 
are not inspired. Dr. Gerstner affirms 
that the Scripture in 3000 places sup- 
ports its own inspiration and also 
that the doctrine of inspiration can 
only mean the inerrancy of the Scrip- 
tures. Now I have taken the trouble 
to check through the Old and New 
Testaments and have looked up ail of 
the passages in the Bible which use 
the terms Word of God, Holy Scrip- 
ture, Prophetic Writing, It Has Been 
Written, The Law, The Prophets, The 
Prophetic Writings, etc. I don't know 
how many such passages there are but 
I think there would be well over 
800. I have found in no one of them 
any statement about the collection of 
books as a whole with the exception 
of the 5 1 references in the NT to "the 
Scripture," which obviously means the 
OT. In none of these is it affirmed 
that the Scripture contains no errors. 
In practically all of them, the author- 
ity of God is assigned to The Law 
and the messages of the prophets, the 



words of Jesus Christ, the Gospel 
concerning Christ, and the Good 
News that the Gentiles may freely 
receive the Gospel by faith, which is 
proclaimed by authorized Apostles. 
(It should be noted that Paul dif- 
ferentiates between his own opinion 
on the matters concerning m.arriage 
in 1 Cor. 7 and the Word of the 
Lord, which was spoken by Jesus. 
Also his apostolicity which gives au- 
thority to the Gospel revealed to him 
does not preserve him from forget- 
ting how many people he has bap- 
tized, nor does it prevent him from 
stating as a fact what he recognizes a 
minute later was a mistake [1 Cor. 

When our New Confession affirms 
that the Scripture witnesses to Christ 
and the Holy Spirit, to the faithful- 
ness of God to Israel and to the ful- 
fillment of his purpose in the Jew, 
Jesus of Nazareth, it is simply stat- 
ing in a few sentences the real drift 
of all the statements about the Scrip- 
ture in the NT. Therefore when Dr. 
Gerstner affirms that the New Con- 
fession denies the inspiration of the 
Bible because, as I claim, it confines 
itself to summarizing what the Bible 
itself teaches about itself, then he, 
it seems to me, must afifirm that the 
Bible itself denies its own inspiration. 
For if the Confession must use 
phrases and words that are stronger 
than those the Scripture itself uses 
in order to profess the doctrine of in- 
spiration, then the Scripture is like- 

wise defective. 

He then castigates the writers of 
the Confession for mishandling the 
Scripture when they affirm that the 
Scripture witnesses God's faithfulness 
to Israel. To display the incomplete- 
ness of this statement, he quotes from 
Hosea that God will "no more have 
pity on the house of Israel to forgive 
them at all." Dr. Gerstner neglects to 
give the sequel in the prophets Isaiah 
and Jeremiah who say over and over 
again, in eSect, "God will bring 
Judah and Israel back and will restore 
them." If anybody has taken a verse 
out of context and has ignored the 
rest of the prophetic teaching about 
Israel, it would seem to be our 
learned colleague. Worse than this is 
his quotation from Romans 11:22, 
"Note then the kindness and severity 
of God, severity to those who have 
fallen but God's kindness to you, pro- 
vided you continue in his kindness; 
otherwise you, too, will be cut oflF." 
The employment of this verse has in 
mind a proof that the committee has 
overlooked the fact that Israel had 
fallen and thus God has rejected it. 
But again, the critic commits the 
crime which he charges against the 
committee, for he overlooks what fol- 
lows in Chapter ll:25flF: (1) that a 
hardness of a partial kind has hap- 
pened to Israel until the fulness of 
the Gentiles comes in; (2) that "all 
Israel will be saved," (3) that they 
of Israel are now enemies according 
to the Gospel for your sake but they 



are beloved for the sake of the Fa- 
thers according to election; and (4) 
"God has shut up all to disobedience 
in order that he may have mercy on 
all." It seems to me that no more 
blatant instance could be provided of 
a non-biblical doctrine than the doc- 
trine of God's rejection of Israel in 
the face of the statements in Romans 
11:26-32, and that the verse quoted 
by Dr. Gerstner to refute the Confes- 
sional assertion of God's faithfulness 
to Israel leads precisely into the 
Pauline assertion of the same doc- 

Dr. Gerstner expresses dissatisfac- 
tion v^ith the following statement in 
the Confession: "God's Word is 
spoken to his church today where the 
Scriptures are faithfully preached and 
attentively read in dependence on the 
guidance of the Holy Spirit and with 
readiness to receive their truth and 
direction." By a kind of legerdemain 
which dazzles and baffles the reader, 
Dr. Gerstner discovers in these words 
evidence that the Church is hereby 
made dependent upon the inspiration 
of a Committee. "Having dispensed 
with inspiration of the Bible, we 
must now look to the inspiration of 
a Committee. We are sure that this 
Committee does not think it is the 
only inspired Committee. There must 
be other Committees also, alas. If any- 
thing is likely to awaken the Church 
to its real danger, it will be the reali- 
zation that once we have done away 
with Holy Scripture-Holy Spirit, in 

the vacuum thereby created we must 
have an infinite series of Holy Com- 
mittees!" It is impossible to imagine 
a more complete non sequitur than 
these sentences. One feels that our 
learned colleague is engaging in some 
sort of theological mockery whereby 
he is trying to see if anyone read the 
paper closely enough to detect this 
total irrelevance and whether he can 
get by with an accusation against the 
Committee which has no connection 
whatever with anything the Commit- 
tee has said. He evidently justifies 
these conclusions by the following 
devious line of argument: Whatever 
the committee says in this Confes- 
sion, it does not mean. This is espe- 
cially true when the Committee says 
anything which is true and Christian 
( as it does m these words which have 
"the form of sound doctrine"). 
Therefore when the Committee af- 
firms that "God's Word is spoken to- 
day v/here the Scripaires are faith- 
fully preached — in dependence on 
the guidance of the Holy Spirit" — it 
really means that there is no Holy 
Spirit or his guidance must be singled 
out by the action of a Committee. 
How the affirmation that preaching 
and listening to the Scriptures may 
occur under the guidance of the Holy 
Spirit requires a conclusion that we 
must have an infinite series of Holy 
Committees to tell us when this oc- 
curs is beyond me. 

The entire paragraph consists of 
nothing but logical pyrotechnics 



which send off sparks and colored 
lights but have no shells, or it is noth- 
ing but shadowboxing against phan- 
toms of his own imagination. If this 
sentence in the Confession involves 
the sinister consequences that Dr. 
Gerstner infers, then every reference 
to the guidance of the Holy Spirit 
who leads us into all truth likewise 
requires some Committee or Com- 
mittee-series to inform us when the 
guidance is real. As a matter of fact, 
any Confession adopted by any 
Church which makes any statements 
about God, God's action, or God's 
Word, is subject to the same kind of 
alarmed com.plaint. 

We will conclude by affirming that 
Dr. Gerstner himself has revised the 
Confession of Faith while failing to 
acknowledge that he has done so. It 
happens to be a fact that this partic- 
ular revision has never been accepted 
by any Committee or by any General 
Assembly of any church. And the bad 
thing about it is that he either inten- 
tionally or unintentionally conceals 
the fact that it is a revision. He states 
that the "Westminster Confession 
identified the Word of God with the 
original text of the Canonical Books." 
I presume this means the text as it 
was first written down by the writers. 
Then, of course, the text as v/e now 
have it, having been copied by gen- 
erations of scribes, is known to con- 
tain various errors. And Dr. Gerstner, 
believes, as I understand it, in the 
inerrancy and full inspiration only of 

the original text. This is a position 
which several Protestant Orthodox 
theologains have adopted after they 
had to face the results of textual 
criticism, and is consequently a nine- 
teenth-century doctrine rather than a 
doctrine of the Confession of Faith. 
The Confession of Faith makes no 
statement about "an original text." 
What it refers to is the OT in He- 
brew and the NT in Greek, which 
are immediately inspired by God and 
by his singular care and providence 
kept pure in all the ages. Now this 
affirms that the Hebrew text of the 
OT and the Greek of the New which 
was known to the Westminster di- 
vines was immediately inspired by 
God because it was identical with the 
first text that God had kept pure in 
all the ages. The idea that there are 
mistakes in the Hebrew Massoretic 
texts or in the texti-is receptus of the 
NT was unknown to the authors of 
the Confession of Faith since none of 
the manuscripts of ancient times 
which reveal these mistakes had been 
discovered. Dr. Gerstner would have 
improved his own reputation for fidel- 
ity to the Confession of Faith or to 
his clamant insistence upon complete 
honesty in presentation of one's theo- 
logical convictions if he had been 
candid enough to affirm that he, too, 
accepts a revision of Westminster 
doctrine. But the same logic which 
compels the recognition of transmis- 
sional errors, likewise compels the 
recognition of such features of the 



Scripture as are acknowledged in the 
fourth paragraph of the New Confes- 
sion's statement on the Bible. This 
time the recognition should be made 
openly and honestly by the Church as 
a revision of the Confession of Faith 
rather than surreptitiously introduced 
by some theologians without ac- 
knowledging that the revision has 
taken place. I feel that the opponents 
of the Confession would do them- 
selves and the Church more good if 
they would take time really to read 
this Confession and to read the Bible 
and try to absorb its basic spirit 

rather than to spend their time at- 
tempting to create a new division in 
the Church and to cast aspersions on 
those whom the Church officially ap- 
pointed to carry out this task. These 
are none the less aspersions, despite 
his gracious testimony to the fact 
that "One member of the Committee 
. . . appears to be one of the most 
sincere Christians we have ever had 
the privilege of knowing." For the 
benefit of our readers we add that 
this committeeman must be our own 
Dr. Markus Barth. 

The Concept of Reconciliation in the 
Proposed Confession of 1967 

by George H. KehM' 

U NQUESTIONABLY the Central, uni- 
fying theme of C67^ is its doctrine 
of reconciliation. "God's reconciling 
work in Jesus Christ and the mission 
of reconciliation to which he has 
called his church are the heart of the 
Gospel in any age. . . . Accordingly 
this Confession of 1967 is built upon 
that theme" (lines 34-38). The struc- 
ture of the confession clearly reflects 
this intention. It begins (on line 39) 
with a paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 
5:18f, which summarizes what C67 
wants to confess. "In Jesus Christ 
God was reconciling the world to 
himself. Jesus Christ is God with 
man. He is present in the church by 
his Holy Spirit to continue and com- 
plete the work of reconciliation" 
(11. 40-43). Consistent with this 
affirmation, the three main parts of 
the confession are entitled "God's 
Work of Reconciliation," "The Min- 
istry of Reconciliation," and "The 
Fulfillment of Reconciliation." 

The confession does not define the 
term "reconciliation." This deficiency 
makes it difficult for an interpreter to 
grasp what is meant by this word. A 

general picture of all that it includes 
can be constructed by outlining the 
contents of the sections and subsec- 
tions of the three main parts. The 
first deals with the act of God's grace 
in Jesus Christ whereby His love 
proved victorious over sin and death, 
and opened the way for new life in 
which men participate when, by the 

* Mr. Kehm is Assistant Professor in Theology. 

^This symbol will be used to designate the proposed "Confession of 1967" throughout 
this article. 




inner operation of the Holy Spirit, 
they are moved to put their trust 
(faith) in the forgiveness of sins 
given them in Jesus Christ. The sec- 
ond part deals with the mission of the 
church. The church's essential task is 
viewed as that of being a community 
which witnesses in the world to God's 
act in Jesus Christ, to the end that 
the world may become reconciled to 
God. The internal or gathered life of 
the church (its order, worship, and 
activities for the nurture of its mem- 
bers) is understood as a means by 
which it is equipped and prepared for 
its work in the world. This work, 
broadly speaking, has two aspects: 
( 1 ) the verbal proclamation of the 
Gospel to all men, and ( 2 ) action by 
the church and its members to re- 
move enmity-creating barriers be- 
tween men, such as race prejudice, 
nationalism, and economic injustices, 
which stand in the way of their being 
reconciled to each other. The third 
part speaks of the ultimate accom- 
plishment of the reconciliation of the 
world through a final act of God in 
which all things are brought under 
the rule of Christ and all evil ban- 
ished from the creation. 

From this outline we draw the 
provisional conclusion that C67 
thinks of reconciliation as a work of 
God begun in the life, death, and 
resurrection of Jesus (hence different 

from his works of creation and 
providence), continuing through the 
church, and not reaching its comple- 
tion until the last day. It is a work 
which involves the elimination of all 
dimensions of evil, and thus requires 
radical transformation not only of 
individual persons, but also of social 
relations and the condition of the 
universe itself. The whole scheme re- 
minds one very much of the outline 
of the "history of salvation" con- 
tained in Oscar Cullmann's Christ 
and Time. 

C67 does not say and apparently 
did not want to say that "reconcilia- 
tion has already been accomplished," 
or that "the whole human race is 
reconciled," as some of its critics al- 
lege." It does speak of "God's recon- 
ciling act in Jesus Christ" (1. 61 and 
passim ) and implies that this is some- 
thing already completed in the past. 
But this act obviously does not ac- 
complish everything involved in the 
reconciliation of the world to God as 
C67 views that. It explicitly states 
that God is continuing and complet- 
ing "the work of reconciliation" in 
the church. Thus, C67 appears to 
teach that the work of reconciliation 
has been decisively set in progress 
and given a perfect and unshakeable 
foundation by God's act in Jesus 
Christ. This aspect of the work needs 
no completion: it is already fully ac- 

^A Conversation about the Proposed Confession of 1961 , p. 4; 
Another Foundation, p. 10 

Edmund P. Clowney, 



complished. But there is yet much 
more to be done by God, the risen 
Christ, and the Holy Spirit before the 
full scope of reconciliation is accom- 
plished. This implies that in a real 
sense "the world" is not yet recon- 
ciled to God. 

Precisely because C67 speaks about 
reconciliation as a continuing work 
of God, another misunderstanding 
has arisen. Apparently the term "re- 
conciling community" (11. 71 and 
207) has given offense to some be- 
cause it suggests that the work of 
Christ requires the supplementary 
activity of the church in order to 
achieve its goal. Taken by itself, "re- 
conciling community" might suggest 
that the church is the agent that 
reconciles man to God, God's work 
in Jesus Christ having merely pro- 
vided the means for doing this. If 
that were the teaching of C67 it 
would indeed contain a crypto- 
Romanist view of reconciliation, no 
matter how "functionalist" its view 
of church order might be. But C67 
does not contain such a view. This 
will be seen more clearly, it is hoped, 
as our analysis progresses. As initial 
clues that this crypto-Romanist inter- 
pretation is on the wrong track, we 
note, first, that the term ''agent of 
reconciliation" is not used in the 
document, despite the fact that one of 
the prominent theologians on the 

Committee used this term to describe 
the church.^ Perhaps the term "agent" 
smacked too much of the idea of 
"plenipotentiary representative" of an 
absentee Christ and was therefore 
deliberately withheld by the Commit- 
tee for the same kinds of reasons that 
have provoked criticisms of "recon- 
ciling community." Secondly, it is im- 
portant to note that other expressions, 
e.g., "community of reconciliation" 
(1. 300), "he is present in the church 
to continue and complete the work 
of reconciliation," and "called the 
church to be his servant for the rec- 
onciliation of the world" (1. 137f), 
suggest that the church is the com- 
munity through which or by means 
of which (in an instrumental sense) 
God acts to bring to bear upon the 
world with reconciling effect the 
power of His grace in Jesus Christ. 
Read in this way, there does not seem 
to be any reason to reject the term 
"reconciling community," although it 
is ambiguous. 

OO MUCH for initial stumbling 
blocks. Now we come to some of the 
deep and inadequately discussed is- 
sues. What did God do in Jesus 
Christ, and how is that deed related 
to reconciliation? The sub-section on 
Jesus Christ speaks first of the realiza- 
tion of true humanity in Jesus (1. 49). 
Thus, although the subject of the acts 

2 Arnold Come, Agents of Reconciliation. Cf . also George S. Hendry, The Gospel of the 
Incarnation, Ch. VIII, 'The Extension of the Incarnation." 



in which true humanity was realized 
is "Jesus, a Palestinian Jew" (i.e., 
Jesus, considered as a concrete human 
being), C67 nevertheless implies that 
this unique human accomplishment 
was somehow ''God's reconciling act" 
in Jesus. 

The Christology of the document 
is too abbreviated to provide any 
adequate explanation of the relation 
of God's reconciling act in Jesus and 
the realization of true humanity in 
him. Is the realization of true human- 
ity in Jesus equivalent to God's re- 
conciling act? C67 is not clear on 
this point. Traditional Calvinism 
would have answered this question in 
the negative. Regardless of the merits 
or demerits of its theory of atone- 
ment, its instincts on this question 
were sound. Jesus' perfect obedience 
to God (= realization of true hu- 
manity ) makes him only primus inter 
pares, the first among many who are 
to be regenerated and perfected 
through him. Classical Calvinism 
would have viewed Jesus' obedience 
as an essential part of his reconciling 
work, but located the decisively rec- 
onciling element in his having sub- 
stituted himself for the sinful race as 
the object of God's wrath upon sin. 
His perfect obedience would count 
not so much as a model for human 
obedience as a means of satisfying the 
divine justice, appeasing God's wrath 

and clearing the way for him to exer- 
cise forgiveness. 

C67 refers to this and other tradi- 
tional ways of speaking about God's 
reconciling act in Jesus (11. 61-68). 
It agrees that the depths of God's 
love for man lie beyond the reach of 
reason, however, and interprets these 
images of God's reconciling act as at- 
tempts to express "the gravity, cost, 
and sure achievement" of God's rec- 
onciling work (1. 67f). In view of 
the nature of reconciliation implied 
in these images, however, we should 
expect to hear something more at this 
point. We should expect to hear 
something about the death and resur- 
rection of Jesus as the execution of 
the divine judgment upon sin, which 
nullified it as an obstacle to full fel- 
lowship between God and man. 

We are also puzzled that the idea 
that Jesus took upon himself the 
judgment under which all men stand 
convicted (1. 56f) is placed under 
the category of the realization of true 
humanity. In that case, it can mean 
little more than his voluntary sub- 
mission to and acknowledgment of 
the judgment of God which he in- 
evitably became susceptible to in 
identifying himself with sinful men. 
That is, his acceptance of the divine 
judgment is little more than an act of 
perfect repentance."* Thus, the strong- 
est assertions of C67 fail to say that 

^This was the view of McLeod Campbell, later taken up by R. C. Moberley. It is criti- 
cized appreciatively but tellingly by James Denney, The Christian Doctrine of Rec- 
oncJliation, pp. 258-60; and George Hendry, op. cit., pp. 81ff and 142. 



anything more was accomplished in 
Jesus Christ than the realization of 
true humanity. On this basis it is easy 
to see why Jesus is the exemplar of 
the new life (11. 159-163) and of the 
mission of the church (1. 213flF). But 
it is not easy to see how this can 
amount to ''God's reconciling act" in 

The basic reason why C67 remains 
indecisive on this matter is that it 
refuses, along with a great many 
contemporary biblical scholars and 
theologians, to speak as if God 
needed to be reconciled, or, to put it 
another way, as if there was some 
change in God's way of relating him- 
self to sinners that had to be brought 
about by Christ's sacrifice. Older 
Calvinism, with its view of the neces- 
sity of a sacrifice to satisfy the divine 
justice, thereby made God's mercy 
toward sinners contingent upon the 
satisfaction of his justice.^'' God's atti- 
tude toward sinners had to be 
changed from wrath to propitiousness 
before anything further could be done 
to transform them in such a way as to 
reconcile them to God. C67 seems to 
want to deny that the work of Christ 

is aimed at any alteration in God's 
attitude toward sinners. Line 96 
stresses the changelessness of God's 
love. It was that very love that led 
God to take upon himself the judg- 
ment due men, not in order to satisfy 
his justice but to bring to repentance 
and new life. His reconciling act in 
Jesus Christ, therefore, was directed 
exclusively toward the transformation 
of man. 

In such a view, the most one can 
say about what God's reconciling act 
in Jesus actually accomplished is that 
the transformation and perfection of 
the creation was achieved intensively 
in his person: he is the first fully 
reconciled creature. He is thereby the 
source from which the powers that 
transform men so as to reconcile 
them to God emanate. "Reconcilia- 
tion with God" became in him a his- 
torical reality, not merely an object 
of hope. And it continues to be ac- 
complished in history as men are 
brought into contact with the reality 
of Jesus Christ through the Scriptures 
and the community which lives from 
them. C67 seems to be trying to his- 
toricize the concept of reconciliation, 

•■^Calvin, for example, though he admits "we were loved before the creation of the 
world," nevertheless also affirmed "the commencement of this love has its founda- 
tion in the sacrifice of Christ." He sums up his attempt to harmonize these two 
assertions as follows: "Where sin is, there the anger of God is, and therefore God 
is not propitious to us without, or before, his blotting out our sins, by not imputing 
them. As our consciences cannot apprehend this benefit otherwise than through the 
intervention of Christ's sacrifice, it is not without good reason that Paul makes that 
the commencement and cause of reconciliation, with regard to us" {Comm. on the 
Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, Vol. II [Edinburgh, 1859], p. 238). 
See also Institutes, II. XVI. 3,4. For a pungent criticism of satisfaction theories of 
atonement, including Calvin's, see George Hendry, op. «'/., pp. 117-121. 



seeing it as a description of a certain 
kind of historical process. It counts 
on the "onceness," and the actuality 
of reconciliation in the man, Jesus, as 
the unrepeatable and unshakeable 
anchor of this process, to rule out any 
mere "exemplarist" or "moral in- 
fluence" view of reconciliation to 
God. It may be doubted that it has 
achieved any clear and consistent re- 
sults along these lines, however. 

further changes in the relations be- 
tween man and man are required in 
order for reconciliation to be fully 
achieved, according to C67. We dis- 
cover here another major innovation 
in C67, in contrast to the West- 
minster Confession, at any rate. Just 
this innovation enables C67 to place 
as much emphasis as it does upon 
"reconciliation in society," which is 
the heart of its claim to contem- 

The Westminster Confession spoke 
of reconciliation as something that 
had been purchased by Christ (VIII, 
8) and which believers receive 
through saving faith in him (XI, 2 ) . 
The social consequences essentially 
related to this act are the works of 
love which genuine faith is always 
producing (I, 2), and the new kind 
of society Christ establishes among 
those united to him by faith ("the 
communion of saints"; XXVI). In its 
present, amended form, the West- 
minster Confession also speaks about 

the obligation of the church to de- 
clare the Gospel of God's love to all 
men (XXXV) . Thus, in its own way, 
even the Westminster Confession 
contains the idea of an essential so- 
cial and missionary thrust stemming 
directly from the reconciling work of 
Christ. But it does not interpret these 
aspects of the Christian faith as 
essential parts of the accomplishment 
of God's work of reconciliation. They 
are consequences of that work; but 
that work is already fully accom- 
plished in Jesus' atoning death. More- 
over, the social consequences flowing 
directly and essentially from Christ's 
work are chiefly the works of love 
among the fellow-believers by which 
the communion of saints is sustained. 
(Cf. XV, 6; XVI, 2; XVIII, 4; 
XXVI, 2.) Believers are expected, of 
course, to show love for their neigh- 
bors and a concern to bring them to 
saving faith and thereby into "the 
Kingdom of Christ" ( = the church? ) . 
Of these two last mentioned require- 
ments, the first is not essentially a 
fruit of reconciliation in Christ but a 
requirement of humanity; and the 
second, which does stem directly 
from the reconciling work of Christ, 
does not aim at the removal of social, 
economic, and political barriers be- 
tween men. The references to the 
Civil Magistrate (W.C, XXIII), 
which do bear directly on the shape 
of the political order, are not related 
to the work of Christ but to the Law 
and God's providential ordering of 



human affairs to preserve a modicum 
of justice and peace. Thus, while the 
Westminster Confession does have 
something to say about the political 
order which makes Christians respon- 
sible for active participation in public 
affairs for the sake of preserving jus- 
tice and peace among men, it never- 
theless fails to relate this responsi- 
bility directly to the reconciling work 
of Christ. Since C67 does establish a 
direct relationship between these 
matters, it has given the concept of 
reconciliation a new twist in its 
statement of "reconciliation in so- 

Has this departure from the West- 
minster Confession any foundation in 
Scripture? 2 Corinthians 5:18f men- 
tions under the heading of "the min- 
istry of reconciliation" only the proc- 
lamation of the message of recon- 
ciliation and speaks of reconciliation 
only as reconciliation with God. 
Ephesians 2:14-19, however, shows 
that reconciliation with God includes 
reconciliation or the making of peace 
between man and fellowman. The 
hostility between men which was ex- 
pressed in class barriers like those 
which divided Jew and Greek, rich 
and poor, master and slave, etc., were 
transcended by God's grace, which 
made them all members with equal 
status ( f eUow-citizens, heirs, broth- 
ers) in the people of God. 

Thus, there would seem to be good 
reason for regarding participation in 
"God's labor to heal the enmities of 

mankind" (1. 208f) as an essential 
aspect of the ministry of reconcilia- 
tion. But the locus of this healing, 
according to Ephesians, is the church. 
Men are reconciled to God through 
faith in the forgiveness of sins given 
them in Jesus Christ. But they are 
reconciled to each other through love, 
namely, that love which is the over- 
flow into their existence of that same 
love of God which was in Jesus 
Christ. (Cf. Romans 5:1; 2 Corin- 
thians 5:14.) Only relationships be- 
tween man and man grounded in that 
kind of love can properly be said to 
be part of God's reconciling work in 
Jesus Christ. Other forms of love be- 
tween man and man must be re- 
garded as expressions of residual hu- 
m.anity, providentially conserved by 
God despite sin. Whenever men are 
reconciled to each other by the love 
that comes from Christ, and express 
this in actual deeds, they do attest 
his reconciling power and thus do 
create a form of witness to him. 
Thus, while the New Testament as a 
whole places primary emphasis upon 
the preaching of the Gospel, it also 
lays great stress upon the acts which 
"build up" the church, namely, a 
community exhibiting a new order of 
social relations in which the old 
enmity-creating barriers of class and 
caste were broken through by a new 
kind of love. So great is the emphasis 
upon the latter that it sometimes 
seems that the presence of this new 
sociality is a necessary context with- 



out which the preaching is threatened 
with unreality and ineffectuality. 

The creation and building up of 
the church, then, is the one direct and 
essential social effect of Christ's work. 
It is the community of those recon- 
ciled in Christ and being reconciled 
thereby to each other, seeking to 
bring all men into the "social region" 
in which the reconciling work of God 
is a present actuality, even if only in 
an imperfect and transitory form. 
This still leaves us a long way from 
activity by the church or its members 
in political and economic organiza- 
tions outside the church. 

C67 wants to see the church and its 
members work toward certain goals 
in these areas which comprise what 
it calls "reconciliation in society." It 
names as some of these goals such 
things as bringing all m_en to accept 
one another as persons and to share 
life on every level (1. 301f); getting 
nations to accept the wisdom of co- 
operating for peace, and of being 
open for fresh starts in international 
relations despite existing conflict (1. 
312f); and the use of men's abilities 
and economic resources for the com- 
mon welfare, especially seeking to 
improve the living conditions and 
economic opportunities and security 
of the poor (11. 327-331). These 
goals seem to this writer to be moral 
ends demanded by mere humanity. 
They do not stem directly from God's 
reconciling work in Jesus Christ, as 
C67 sometimes labors to show, but 

from his works of creation and provi- 
dence. To be sure, they are not in 
conflict with or unrelated to the pur- 
pose of God's work of reconciliation 
in Christ. They indeed serve that pur- 
pose since anything that contributes 
to the enhancement of man's human- 
ity contributes, indirectly, to the per- 
fection of his humanity through Jesus 
Christ. But such "penultimate" ethical 
goals apply to all men ( Christians in- 
cluded) simply because they are hu- 
man beings, and do not express the 
higher obligations of life in Christ. 

C67 itself seems to recognize this, 
for in the same paragraphs in which 
it states what the church is to call all 
men to work for in society, it first 
states something the church is de- 
manded to exhibit in its interior life. 
And that something is not identical 
with what the church is supposed to 
work for in society. It is more. The 
church is called to be "one universal 
family" (1. 298). This seems to be an 
allusion to Ephesians 2:19, a passage 
which refers to the church as the 
"household of God," The church is 
called to be that in itself, and to work 
outside itself for the elimination of 
racial and ethnic bars which stifle the 
ordinary forms of human interaction 
to which all men are entitled as hu- 
man beings. The elimination of such 
barriers is still a long way oflf from 
the positive relations implied in 
being a family, however; and it is just 
these positive relations that are sup- 
posed to exist in the church and pro- 



^ide impetus for attacking the bar- 
riers outside. Similarly, the church is 
railed to practice forgiveness of its 
memies. But that is more than it is 
railed to ask or work for among the 
lations. They are to be urged to co- 
operate peacefully and be ready for 
Fresh relations. That is not the same 
IS forgiving one another, however, 
Jiough it bears some analogy to for- 

1 O SUM UP, the church is called to 
work in society not for any moral 
^oal immediately derived from the 
reconciling work of God in Jesus 
Christ, but for moral goals analogous 
:o those which do derive from recon- 
:iliation. It is called upon to work 
For social, economic, and political 
londitions which respect man's hu- 
nanity, conditions which may be sub- 
sumed under the category of justice. 
But the order of justice is not the 
order of love. Justice requires the re- 
moval of barriers between men, 
w-hich love, too, is concerned to break 
down in order to achieve its own 
more perfect order of human co- 
existence. But justice merely makes 
room for love. The actualization of 
the order of love requires more than 
:an be achieved by man as man or by 

the instruments of power which are 
needed to preserve justice. 

Thus, while C67 seems justified in 
extending the concept of reconcilia- 
tion beyond the Westminster Confes- 
sion's confinement of that term to 
the atonement wrought by Christ's 
death, it does not seem justified in 
using that term to designate the goals 
it sets up for society outside the com- 
munion of saints. The things C67 
calls "reconciliation in society" belong 
under the categories of the will of 
God as Creator and God's providen- 
tial rule over history, and not to "the 
reconciling work of God in Jesus 
Christ." They are not for this reason 
unimportant or unrelated to recon- 
ciliation in Christ. Nor is there any 
reason in what we have said for drop- 
ping them from the confession, al- 
though one might well want to re- 
formulate them. In fact, it might well 
add to their authority and persuasive- 
ness if it were made clear that with- 
out action by the church and its mem- 
bers for such more humane social 
conditions its message will suffer be- 
cause the concern for the ultimate 
redemption of man's humanity which 
the message proclaims will be be- 
trayed by an actual unconcern with 
the present threats to his humanity. 


The Proposed Confession and Social Ethics 

^)/ Walter E. WiEST* 

In comparison to the Westminster 
Confession, and to other classical 
Protestant Confessions, the proposed 
Confession of 1967 is remarkable for 
the relative importance it gives to 
social issues. An urgent sense of in- 
volvement in and responsibility for 
what is going on in the common life 
of men is expressed not only in the 
section on "Reconciliation in Society" 
but also in the basic conception and 
orientation of the document as a 

At the very start, the Preface in- 
forms us that the Church has "con- 
fessed" its faith at various times in 
the past "as the need of the time re- 
quired." It is legitimate and obliga- 
tory for the Church to "reform itself 
in life and doctrine as new occasions, 
in God's Providence, may demand." 
Now while "the need of the time" 
and "new occasions" might be taken 
to refer only to things that happen 
within the life of the Church itself 
(such as the perversion of the faith 
of the Church through false teaching 
and corrupt praaices against which 
the sixteenth-century reformers re- 
acted ) , in this case it seems clear that 
the terms are meant to include refer- 
ence to broader human, historical- 

cultural situations in the midst of 
which the Church is called to speak 
and act. Not only is the central theme 
of "reconciliation" applied to certain 
contemporary social issues; it would 
seem to have been chosen partly be- 
cause of its pertinence to such issues. 
It is "our generation" which is judged 
to have "peculiar need" of the mes- 
sage of reconciliation in Christ, and 
"generation" indicates a situation 
which includes those outside as well 

Dr. Wiest is Professor of Philosophy of Religion. 




as inside the Church. 

As I read the Confession, these 
statements in the Preface seem to be 
connected with the later statement 
that in our "time and place" we are 
confronted with "particular problems 
and crises" in relation to which the 
Church, "guided by the Spirit," is to 
"learn how to obey" in concrete and 
specific ways ( Part II, Section D ) . In 
turn, the "peculiar needs" of men in 
our time evoke in us an awareness of 
an aspea of the Gospel which is 
especially pertinent to those needs. 
I Thus, while it is said that "reconcilia- 
tion" is "the heart of the Gospel in 
any age," the term is also used, I 
j think, as one of a number of thematic 
! forms or variations in which the 
biblical message is expressed, the one 
which seems to "speak to our condi- 
tion" most helpfully and tellingly. 
We are called to proclaim the Gospel 
of reconciliation to a world under 
tension and stress, groping for solu- 
tions to the divisions and hostilities 
between East and West, between dif- 
ferent races, between the "haves" and 
the "have-nots," between different 
religious and cultural traditions. 

In adopting this approach, the 
writers have taken a view of the 
nature and function of a Church Con- 
fession which in some respects is 
reminiscent of the Barmen Declara- 
tion of 1934. This statement of the 

"Confessing Church" in Germany, in 
its resistance to the incursions and 
pressures from the Nazi "German 
Christians" and state-appointed church 
officials, was occasioned by a par- 
ticular political and ecclesiastical 
crisis.^ Consequently, it did not at- 
tempt to cover all important points 
of doctrine, but only certain items 
(together with items of church law) 
which were important for that situa- 
tion. It has nevertheless been called a 
Confession since it was an instance in 
which the Church witnessed to or 
confessed its faith before the world. 
As Arthur C Cochrane has argued, 
such a body of declarations can right- 
ly be called a Confession insofar as 
it is a public witness to genuine 
Christian faith, faith in Jesus Christ 
as Lord based upon the testimony of 
Holy Scripture. Since by virtue of this 
witness it speaks for the "one, holy, 
catholic and apostolic" Church and 
stands in continuity with the "Church 
of the fathers," it can justifiably allow 
other and earlier confessional state- 
ments to speak on issues with which 
it is not immediately concerned. At 
the same time, it is urged, "Barmen 
is a genuine Confession in that it 
clarified the meaning of the Reforma- 
tion Confessions in a new situation, 
confessed the old faith in a new way, 
and gave a more precise definition of 
the old . . . especially in regard to 

^Cf. Arthur C. Cochrane, The Church's Confession Under Hitler (Westminster Press, 
1962),espedally Ch. VIII. 


revelation and the Word of God."^ fession be confined to statements of 

It is characteristic of a Confession those beliefs which are basic and un- 

thus conceived, as again Cochrane changing, to "doctrine" rather than 

observes, that it has "definite implica- judgments about social issues? no 
tions for concrete social and political 

issues," such as race prejudice, na- As A preliminary STEP in reply- 

tionalism, communism or fascism, ing to such questions, it might be 

economic injustice.^ We can under- pointed out that Confessions regularly 

stand why questions of social and bear the marks of the historical 

political ethics had to be taken into periods in which they were com- 

account in the kind of situation posed. Need we be reminded that 

which was being faced by Barmen, the Westminster Confession is a case 

But should that be the case with any in point? Written to provide a basis 

Confession which the Church pro- for a union of the English and Scot- 

duces? Does such a procedure "slant" tish Churches which was to follow 

the Confession too much in the upon the union of Scotland and Eng- 

interests of certain temporary, secular land, it reflects that circumstance in 

issues and situations? Should a Con- its noticeably legalistic language.^ 

-Ibid., p. 189. Cochrane points out that the authors of Reformation Confessions ac- 
cepted the authority of earlier creeds (e.g., Apostles', Nicene) and understood their 
own standards as "explanations" of such creeds designed to combat new forms of 
heresy. The idea that doctrinal standards should have the characteristics of "suffi 
ciency" and "completeness," he says, was proposed only in the nineteenth century 
by Wilhelm Loehe; 

In an article that has just appeared ("Barmen and the Confession of 1967," 
McCormkk Quarterly, January, 1966), Cochrane reminds us that both Barmen and 
other Confessions have been called forth by crisis situations in which the "very life 
of the Church was at stake" (p. 138), and questions whether the situation in the 
Church today, and some of the reasons which have been given for producing the 
proposed Confession, really reflect an awareness of such a crisis. He then goes on to 
affirm that there does seem to be an appropriate need — the need for reconciliation 
between various groups in our world — and that the Church should have a sense of 
crisis about it. It is all the more critical because the Church has allowed the divisions 
of the world to intrude upon its own life. I should second this observation, and also 
ask whether it would not have been better for the Church in Germany to have 
"confessed" before the crisis reached the point which it did in 1934. 

Hbid., p. 206. Cochrane admits that the Barmen documents themselves do not deal 
specifically with the then rampant political and social evils of the Nazi regime, and 
confine themselves too much to the apparently selfish interests of the Church over 
against the state. But he calls attention to the "Memorandum" which the Barmen 
leaders presented to Hitler in June, 1936, in which explicit and courageous criticisms 
were made of these abuses. The Memorandum, he maintains, was an "actual exposi- 
tion" of certain articles in the Barmen Declaration. 

^George Hendry includes this as one of four charaaeristics of this Confession which 
mark it as a typically seventeenth-century docimient; cf. The Westminster Confes- 
sion for Today (John Knox Press, I960), pp. 14-16. 



This Confession also includes some 
social ethics in the form of statements 
on political issues which were of con- 
cern at the time: on church-state 
relations, liberty of conscience, "law- 
ful oaths and vows," and the respon- 
sibilities of "civil magistrates." If it 
was proper to include them, it is also 
clear that they are largely out of date 
and call for a contemporary restate- 
ment. If "oaths and vows" were im- 
portant enough to Christian con- 
sciences to be considered in a seven- 
teenth-century Confession, surely race 
relations and world peace can be 
given consideration in a Confession 

There is a more fundamental point 
involved, however. Christian faith is 
such that it cannot be separated or 
considered in isolation from the 
conditions under which men live in 
this world, and any Confession which 
did not express that aspect of the 
faith would be deficient. I propose to 
elaborate upon that assertion before 
going on to describe some problems 
I see in the statements which the pro- 
posed Confession contains on social 

There are a number of ways in 
which what I am asserting might be 
shown to be the case. One is sug- 
gested by certain statements in the 
proposed Confession, to which I shall 
admittedly add some interpretation of 
my own. At the beginning, we are 
reminded that "In Jesus Christ, God 
was reconciling the world to himself," 

and "In Jesus of Nazareth, true hu- 
manity was realized once for aU." 
Then, in the section on "The Love of 
God," we are told that in knowing 
Christ as Redeemer we also know 
God as Creator and Lord; and the 
implication is that we understand 
redemption as the fulfillment of 
God's intentions for his creation. Men 
are created for personal relations with 
God and each other; they are to use 
their "creative powers" to promote 
the common welfare and in the in- 
terests of "justice and peace." Life in 
a reconciled and reconciling com- 
munity is the beginning of the fulfill- 
ment of these intentions. Finally, 
some instances are given of what such 
reconciliation means for contem- 
porary human problems, and what 
responsibilities Christians have in our 
world. In other words, the Gospel 
has to do not only with the Church 
but with the "world," with human 
existence as such. 

We should be careful about how 
our concern with "world" and "crea- 
tion" and "human life" is expressed 
confessionally or formulated theo- 
logically. The norm of Christian 
belief and action is Christ; and the 
movement of thought in the Confes- 
sion is from Christ to the world, not 
vice versa. In describing the "Minis- 
try of Reconciliation," the Confession 
takes Jesus' manner of life, his serv- 
ice to others, his suffering and death 
and resurrection as the "pattern for 
the Church's mission." Nevertheless, 



we are to be "ambassadors for Christ" 
and "ministers of reconciliation" not 
only among ourselves, but in and to 
the world. We are to be "neighbors" 
to all men, not just to those within 
the Christian community; for the love 
of God is extended to all his crea- 
tures. While the Church is God's 
chosen instrument for the work of 
reconciliation, it is not the exclusive 
aim or end of that work. And it is 
really not too much to say that God 
is at work in the "secular" world it- 
self, in the interests of the recon- 
struction and restoration of human 
life. As Paul Lehmann would have it, 
God is working "to make and keep 
human life human in the world."^ At 
any rate, God is present and makes 
Himself known to us in the midst of 
our responses to other men and their 
needs, a fact most graphically ex- 
pressed in Jesus' words, "Inasmuch as 
ye have done it unto one of the least 
of these my brethren, ye have done it 
unto me." 

It follows that we cannot under- 
stand our faith, or know what we as 
Christians are called to be and do, 
unless we are able to see what the 
Gospel means for common human 
life and relationships. We are called 
to be ministers of reconciliation to 
other human beings. But human 
beings are not abstractions. Men live 
in history, in particular times and 
places, under specific social and poli- 

tical and economic conditions. The 
lives which God seeks to reconcile or 
"to make and keep human," are 
always first-century or twelfth-century 
or twentieth-century lives, European 
or Asian or African lives. Now, what 
does reconciliation mean for twen- 
tieth-century men in twentieth-cen- 
tury situations? To what tasks of re- 
construction or reconciliation is God 
calling us with these men, under these 
conditions? What does it mean to be 
"neighbor," not literally to a man 
lying beaten on the road to Jericho, 
but to an unemployed man caught in 
a "pocket of poverty" in West Vir- 
ginia, or to the parents of a child 
burned by napalm in Viet Nam? 
What does reconciliation mean, not 
between Jew and Greek, barbarian 
and Scythian, but between Negro and 
white, or between "alienated" youth 
and the more conventional members 
of society? What does "community" 
mean in a modern, technological, 
urban society? What does it mean to 
be "ambassadors for Christ" and 
"ministers of reconciliation" in this 

These are questions v/hich afifect 
not only our ministry and mission to 
"the world," but also our own faith 
and life within the Church. We 
Christians also are twentieth-century 
men, living under the same condi- 
tions as others. In St. Paul's words, 
the Christian community has been 

^Ethics in a Christian Context (SCM Press, 1963), p. 99 



given a "foretaste" or "downpay- 
ment" of the fulfilled, reconciled life 
God intends for all mankind. As Karl 
Barth puts it, the Church is a "pro- 
visional representation of the sancti- 
fication of all humanity."^ But such a 
"provisional representation" takes 
place within a visible community 
composed of historical human beings, 
with attitudes and ideas, interests and 
tasks, which are typical of their time 
and place. Thus the first step for us 
is to understand what reconciling love 
means for our "generation" as its 
typical needs and problems are repre- 
sented in us, within the Church itself. 
It is only in this way that we can be 
"salt" and "leaven" in the world. 
From this perspective we can quickly 
see, as did the German "Confessing 
Christians," that a Church which does 
not address itself to social and polit- 
ical developments will very likely be 
dominated by those developments 
and be rendered impotent. To take a 
familiar illustration from our own 
situation, local congregations in seg- 
regated neighborhoods become seg- 
regated congregations, and nothing 
really effeaive can be done about this 
unless Christians become responsibly 
involved in efforts to change the so- 
cial pattern. 

Therefore, the "needs of the time" 
and "new occasions" which call for 
the Church to "confess" are not such 
needs and occasions as are confined 

to the Church's own internal life, but 
are such as also pervade the lives of 
all our fellowmen. Therefore, a Con- 
fession can and must address itself to 
social questions, for we cannot under- 
stand or express what Gospel and rec- 
onciliation, Church and ministry and 
mission, mean — at least, not concrete- 
ly — unless these questions are taken 
into account. Without this element, 
we are left with a ?>qx. of abstract 
principles, or a recital of past events 
(those recorded in Scripture) with 
no clear meaning for our own faith 
and life. 

All that has been said so far 
clearly indicates a fundamental sym- 
pathy with the ethical emphasis of 
the proposed Confession. That sym- 
pathy extends to the specific things 
which are said about race relations, 
international cooperation and peace, 
and the problem of poverty. How- 
ever there are some things in the 
"logic" of this section which I think 
are not entirely clear. Probably they 
are as clear as they can be or need to 
be for the purpose which the Confes- 
sion is meant to serve, but it will do 
no harm to subject them to some fur- 
ther analysis here. 

First, it is not clear that the one 
theme of reconciliation is really the 
basis of all the judgments made, or 
that it can be an adequate basis by 
itself. On the whole, it serves pretty 

^Church Dogmatics (T. & T. Clark, 1958), Vol. IV, Part 2, p. 620. 



well for the issue of race. In the dis- 
cussion of the other two problems, 
however, there is mention of "jus- 
tice," "peace," "forgiveness," the 
"constructive use" of "human and 
material resources," the danger of 
idolatrous national sovereignty, the 
"violation of God's good creation," 
the use of "abilities and possession as 
gifts" entrusted to us by God, "re- 
sponsibility in economic affairs," etc. 
It is not immediately obvious from 
the wording of the section just how 
justice, forgiveness, responsibility in 
the use of resources, respect for God's 
good creation, and the rejection of 
idolatry are all the same as, or some- 
how aspects or implications of, "rec- 
onciliation." This all the more is the 
case since none of the terms, includ- 
ing reconciliation, is defined. 

Even if we could surmise from the 
general "drift" of the document and 
from the biblical background how 
these are all related parts of an over- 
arching concept of reconciliation, it 
is not clear that this one concept can 
be used in some single and straight- 
forward way as the norm for judg- 
ments about diverse and complex so- 
cial problems. The difficulties are due 
partly to the fact that the document 
is not a systematic theological treatise 
and could not be expected to supply 
us with formal definitions and tech- 

nical analyses. They are also due, I 
think, to an underlying confusion be- 
tween what ethical terms or state- 
ments mean in a specifically Chris- 
tian context and what they might 
mean or how they are applicable in a 
broader human or secular context. 
For instance, are the "justice" and 
"peace" which "governments exist to 
serve" the same as the justice and 
peace of Christian faith and in the 
life of Christian community? Can we 
make such an abrupt transition from 
the "forgiveness of enemies" which 
the Church is called upon to practice 
"in its own life" to the call to "com- 
mend to the nation as practical poli- 
tics the search for cooperation and 
peace"? Doesn't "as practical poli- 
tics" imply a very different sort of 
motivation? Does the repairing of 
relations between formerly hostile 
nations really depend on "forgive- 
ness"? Forgiveness is ordinarily a 
rather personal affair; how does it 
apply to the more impersonal rela- 
tions between nations? (Among 
other things, what nation is going to 
be morally presumptuous enough to 
"forgive" another? ) If the Christian's 
motivation in such matters is for- 
giveness, how does this relate to other 
elements in the actual, "worldly" situa- 
tion?" Can we use the Christian com- 
munity's call to service and self- 

'Lehmann has suggested a sequence of forgiveness, justice, and reconciliation, a sugges- 
tion applied interestingly to economics by Bruce M. Morgan, Christians, the Church 
and Property (Westminster Press, 1963), pp. 54-60. In order to apply forgiveness 



sacrifice as a ground for urging poli- 
cies that run. "the risk of national 
security," and can a statesman's un- 
willingness to risk national security 
necessarily be equated with an idola- 
trous devotion to "some one national 
sovereignty or some one 'way of 
life "? 

difference in ethical thinking which 
has existed in Protestant theology 
during the past thirty years or so. A 
brief account of this difference will 
necessarily over-simplify the thought 
of the theologians mentioned, but let 
us take Reinhold Niebuhr as typify- 
ing one trend and Karl Barth the 
other. I shall try to characterize these 
two types of Christian ethic briefly in 
order to explain further the signifi- 
cance of the difficulties which I see 
in the Confessional statements. 

In his ethical thinking, Niebuhr 
constantly grapples with the differ- 
ence and the consequent tensions be- 
tween the Christian norm of the love 
of God revealed in Christ {agape) 
and the actual conditions prevailing 
in a sinful world which make a direa 
application of that norm impossible. 
The love of Christ is self-sacrificial 
love which recognizes that one must 
lose his life in order to find it. In hu- 
man relations, it calls for being en- 

tirely concerned about others and not 
for oneself. This is too much for sin- 
ful men to attain in actual practice. 
Sin is expressed primarily as one 
form or another of self-interest, and 
self-interest always enters into the 
actions and calculations of individuals 
and, especially, social groups. The 
highest norm which is operable in 
this world is justice, a norm which 
was given classical expression in the 
saying, "To each his due." Justice 
always concedes something to self- 
interest.^ In actual practice, in the 
intricacies of human relationships, 
justice becomes a guideline by which 
we adjudicate or moderate the com- 
petition between opposing individual 
and group interests. Selfish demands 
can be brought within bounds but 
not eliminated, and even perfect jus- 
tice is not fully achievable. The best 
we might achieve would be some sort 
of "equal justice," but often we must 
settle for a merely "tolerable justice." 
Especially in social relations, the fact 
that some are set in power and au- 
thority over others presents an in- 
superable temptation to injustice and 
corruption. Such a world cannot 
tolerate pure love. The teachings of 
Jesus concerning agape, and the abso- 
lute character of our commitment to 
God, are "eschatological" in charac- 
ter; we could follow them literally 

to economic relationships, Morgan revises it to mean the "openness" of one "com- 
munity" to the existence of another. Some such translation would seem to be needed. 
^Niebuhr also speaks sometimes of "mutuality" of "mutual love" as a possible norm, 
but "mutual" also implies a concession to self-interest. 



only if God's Kingdom or rule were 
already established on earth. They are 
not immediately applicable to history 
as we know it. (Turning the other 
cheek and going the extra mile are 
not injunaions which can be fol- 
lowed by statesmen in the conduct of 
a nation's affairs, nor by a business 
man in a competitive economy; the 
saying, "If any one comes to me and 
does not hate his own father and 
mother and wife and children ... he 
cannot be my disciple" [Lk. 14:26] 
does not provide a basis for family 
life.) All that we can accomplish in 
history are "proximate fulfillments" 
of love. If we assume that we can or 
have accomplished anything more 
perfect than that, the results are 
always tragic. The wheat and the 
tares will grow together to the end of 

All this is not to say that agape is 
irrelevant to Christian ethical deci- 
sions. Love and justice are in some 
ways positively related; eschatologi- 
cally, they would coalesce, or become 
two aspects of one thing. In actual 
practice, they correct and assist each 
other: love reminds us of the imper- 
fection of our actual achievements 
and helps us to apply general justice 
to individual differences and needs; 
justice helps us to apply love ("prox- 

imately") to the realities and com- 
plexities of social processes and insti- 
tutional structures.^ But because of 
their differences, love and justice can 
only be related "dialectically." The 
eschatological and the historical can 
never be brought into a single, uni- 
fied focus. For Niebuhr, therefore, 
there can never be a purely biblical 
or Christocentric norm nor the un- 
qualified motivation of God's love 
and grace {sola gratia) in Christian 
ethical judgment and action.^ ° In 
addition to the love of God in Christ, 
we must also be guided by the hard 
facts of life and by standards which 
are not too high for imperfect men. 

By contrast, Barth is intent upon 
surveying the world and the problems 
of men fundamentally (and almost 
exclusively) from the standpoint of 
the revelation of God in Christ. His 
approach to ethical questions can be 
understood by reference to the Bar- 
men experience. (Not that Barmen 
alone accoimts for Barth's point of 
view; rather, his ethical thinking is a 
consistent part of his whole theology 
in its mature form.) The Nazi "Ger- j 
man Christians" and others who op- 1 
posed the position of the Confessing | 
Church did so by reaffirming the; 
traditional Lutheran distinction be-; 
tween the "two realms" of Church j 

•'For a brief analysis of the distinctions and relations betv/een love and justice in Nie- 
buhr's thought, cf. Gordon Harland, The Thought of Reinhold Niebuhr (Oxford 
University Press, I960), Ch. IL 

loQn this point, cf. Thomas C. Oden, Radical Obedience (Westminster Press 1964), 



and state, arguing that the state was 
a ""natural order" having its own laws 
and principles which were not the 
same as those of the Church. Thus 
notions like those of the sanctity of 
the German family and Volk, "blood 
and soil," of Aryan superiority, and 
of the authority of the state to com- 
mand obedience were defended as 
elements in God's created order of 
things. In the face of such arguments, 
Barth and the Barmen Christians 
denied "natural law" morality com- 
pletely and insisted that Christians 
could judge and act only by appeal to 
Christ and the Scriptures. It is char- 
acteristic of Barth that he will not 
accept two norms — Gospel and na- 
tural law, or love and worldly jus- 
tice — even in a dialectical relation- 
ship like Niebuhr's. Rather, he wants 
to understand the world from the 
standpoint of the Gospel, man from 
the standpoint of Christ, history from 
the standpoint of eschatology. Ac- 
cording to his doctrine of election, 
e.g., forgiveness and reconciliation 
have been extended to all men in 
Christ.^ ^ Members of the Christian 
community know of their reconcilia- 
tion; others are not yet aware of it. 
But Christians see the world only as 
reconciled. In Christ we see for the 

first time who and what we really are, 
as men. Consequently, Barth does not 
attempt to understand man by draw- 
ing upon psychology, anthropology, 
sociology, or history and combining 
human knowledge of these sorts with 
insights drawn from Scripture. Nei- 
ther does he attempt to discuss the 
condition of "natural" man apart 
from Christ, but bases his anthropol- 
ogy upon Christology. He is not 
basically interested to try to relate the 
love or grace of Christ to political or 
economic analyses of social problems, 
or to other moral principles or norms. 
In ethics as in his whole theology, 
his thought moves strictly from Christ 
and the Gospel to the world, and not 
the reverse. 

This is not to say that Barth ig- 
nores all differences between belief 
and unbelief, between "Christian 
community" and "civil community," 
or that he is not concerned about the 
relation of Gospel and Law, or sug- 
gests that we cannot learn at all from 
'"the wisdom of the world." But he 
has been criticized for not taking the 
hard facts and complexities of the 
actual human condition seriously 
enough, and for making questionable 
ethical judgments about situations 
which would have been better under- 

^^As is well known, Barth says that all men are "elect" in Christ, but that he does not 
mean to affirm universalism. I shall not attempt to resolve the enigma here, but cf. 
his further statement on this in Church Dogmatics, Vol. IV, Part 3, First Half, pp. 


Stood in the light of more astute calculated less or more." ^^ | 

political or social analysis. ^^ Whether 

or not the criticisms are completely IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN 
justified, there is some truth in them, ORDER for the writers of the Confes- 
and they point accurately to the chief sion to commit themselves to a par- 
difficulty in an approach like Earth's, ticular "party line," and they did not 
If Niebuhr cannot bring Gospel and attempt to do so. Their statement is 
world, eschatology and history into a more general than that. My own 
single focus, and tends to leave us judgment — prejudice, perhaps — is 
entangled in dialectic and moral that what is lacking is a "Niebuhrian" 
ambiguity, Barth seems too single- sense of difficulties involved in the 
mindedly biblical and Christocentric, movement from biblical faith to the 
and not enough concerned with the realities and complexities of our so- 
worldly wisdom and concepts of cial existence. The justice, peace, and 
"justice" which help us to make reconciliation which we have in 
practical ethical judgments of "nicely Christian community, in our life in 

^-Niebuhr has charged, for instance, that Earth's judgments on political matters have 
been inconsistent and unpredictable because he has attempted to make them from an 
"ultimate" theological perspective and not from specific political knowledge. He has 
complained that in the 1930's, in some statements, Barth put God too unqualifiedly 
behind the struggle against Hitler, then after World War II found no basis at all 
for criticizing the comparable evils (insofar as they are comparable) of communist 
regimes. On this, cf. Harland's summary, op. cit., pp. 37-42. Another example of 
the problem in Earth's thinking is to be seen in the essay on "Christian Community 
and Civil Community" (reprinted in Community, State and Church (Anchor Eooks, 
Doubleday, I960), in which he tries to show how Christians might approach civil 
or political issues by drawing some questionable analogies from Scripture and apply- 
ing them to the civil community. Niebuhr's respect for the "wisdom of the world" 
can be seen in his account of the interplay between biblical faith and "critical reason" 
in western culture; cf. The Self and the Dramas of History (Scribner's, 1955), Part 
III, especially Ch. 19. 

i^Most contemporary Protestant ethicists can be roughly classified as "Earthian" or 
"Niebuhrian" with respect to the issue just discussed, but most have also made 
efforts to overcome the split. Bonhoeffer, e.g., belongs primarily to Earth's side (cf. 1 
his objections to "thinking in two spheres" and his Christocentrism), but tried to do' 
greater justice to Niebuhr's kind of concern by means of his notions of the "penul- i 
timate" and the "natural," and his efforts to take the secular world with profound ; 
seriousness. Paul Ramsey sees the relation between love and justice as the central 
problem in Christian ethical thinking today (cf. Nine Modern Moralists [Prentice- J 
Hall, Spearum Eooks, 1962], pp. 18 If) but stresses more than Niebuhr their posi-| 
tive conneaions, and the capacity of love to transform justice (or natural moral con-|i 
cepts and laws ) . Paul Lehmann attempts to put Gospel and world together by link- 1 - 
ing "koinonia" and "the politics of God" or what God is doing in the world, but hei 
is even more extreme than Earth in rejecting all "laws" or "principles" whatever, ii 
T. C. Oden has recently suggested that Eultmann may oflPer a solution, although hell 
only points the way to a new beginning, cf. op. cit., Introduction and p. 152, fn. 26. i 1 



Christ, do not seem to be identical, at 
least on the face of it, with the jus- 
tice, peace, and reconciliation which 
we might define as goals in areas like 
international relations. By what proc- 
ess of thought or refleaion do we 
relate the one to the other? Are we 
drawing analogies between Scripture 
and politics? If so, how definitely or 
precisely can this be done? In the 
name of Christ, the Church can be 
called upon to be ready to forgive 
enemies, turn the other cheek, and 
even to lay down its life for others 
(whether we think it likely that it 
would actually be willing to do so or 
not). As a matter of "practical poli- 
tics," could we really expect those 
responsible for the policies and wel- 
fare of a nation to be ready to go that 
far in the interests of international 
peace and cooperation? If not, then 
what are the requirements of the re- 
sponsible exercise of political power 
which limit the application of the 
analogy ( or whatever ) ? How can we 
translate self-sacrificial love into 
guidelines for political policy? The 
biblical concern for the poor does 
suggest that we must be concerned 
about poverty, and we should try to 
use our resources to advance the com- 
mon welfare. But such concern might 
lead to the support of anything from 
individual philanthropy, through 
privately sponsored group efforts, to 
government programs of one sort or 
another. What are the further condi- 

tions which should be taken into ac- 
count in deciding whether we should 
support a particular "anti-poverty 

Once again, I do not mean to say 
that all these considerations should 
have been included in a Confessional 
statement. If that statement were to 
be taken as a guide, however, we 
should then have to go on to raise 
such further questions. At that point, 
it would make a difference whether 
we followed a "Niebuhrian" or 
"Barthian" line, or some other; and 
the latent ambiguities in the Confes- 
sion would arise to perplex us. That 
is fair enough. Facing perplexities of 
this and other kinds is part of the 
continuing theological and practical 
v/ork of the Church. 

There are other passages in the 
Confession which have to do with 
Christian ethics. What is said about 
the "New Life" in Christ is clearly 
ethical, affecting the quality and char- 
acter of Christian motivation and 
behavior. The statement that the 
Church "disperses to serve God 
wherever its members are ... in the 
life of society" certainly has impor- 
tant ethical implications. In this 
essay, however, I have chosen to con- 
centrate upon statements about spe- 
cific social issues and the connection 
I think they have with the basic 
theme and orientation of the Confes- 
sion as a whole. 

Subscriptional Authority 

by William A. Nicholson* 

The eye of the storm raging 
over the Proposed Confession, as it 
moves over the Church, is relatively 
quiet. The bibliographical, ecclesio- 
logical, and ethical issues are of hur- 
ricane force, but few people are ask- 
ing the central question, "Is it neces- 
sary to insist upon a subscription?" 
and "What does a man subscribe to 
when he makes a subscription?" All 
other questions are peripheral to 

Subscription controversies are not 
the vogue today. However, old styles 
have a way of coming in again, and 
one feels that the past zeal for rigid 
attestation formulae and formal 
assents to separate Confessions could 
easily burst into flame. Where there 
is a little smoke there is fire. After all, 
we are not too far removed in either 
years or temperament from the 
l640's, when religious covenants, 
oaths, agreements, leagues, plagued 
the churches of England, Scotland, 
and Wales. Compulsion to establish 
rigid agreements, especially in reli- 
gious activities, is deeply ingrained 
within human personality. 

We may have learned some lessons 
from the past in the matter of reli- 
gious oaths which ought to restrain 

us and dictate a moderate policy. The 
Westminster Divines, extremely am- 
bitious in the making of leagues and 
covenants, had an unhappy experi- 
ence in these matters. The very agree- 
ments and oaths they took proved 
their downfall. For example, the 
Westminster Divines signed an 
agreement to the effect that Scripture 
contained one, absolute, infallible 
form of church government, and 
found themselves immediately bound 

Mr. Nicholson is Associate Professor of Homiletics. 





in a Gordian knot; they fell apart as 
a consequence, trying to solve an in- 
soluble problem. In the case of the 
Solemn League and Covenant, the 
items bound the parties to extirpate 
Episcopacy and yet to preserve the 
King's person. However, Charles 
could not be preached into Presby- 
terianism, even by Scotland's most 
eloquent Henderson, and so emerged 
as Episcopacy's leading champion. 
According to the oath he ought to be 
liquidated, claimed the Independ- 
ents — but, said the Presbyterians, we 
have agreed to protect the King. In 
the end, the Independents cut off 
Charles' head while the Presbyterians 
prayed for his life to be spared, and 
both parties claimed they acted ac- 
cording to the covenant. The old ser- 
mons of the I640's ring with charges 
and counter-charges of covenant- 
breaking and covenant-keeping. The 
Solemn League and Covenant, in 
addition to being a religious agree- 
ment, bound Scotland to a major war 
with the King's forces in England, 
and therefore was a clever device 
used by those interested in political 
matters to force a war upon a nation. 
One always suspects attestations that 

are made out of seemingly religious 
motives — they ought always to be 
examined for ulterior political, econ- 
omic, and social motives. It is now a 
matter of history how the "West- 
minster Assembly dwindled down to 
a small Committee of Triers, whose 
task was to sift out candidates for the 
ministry. The Committee was a 
packed one — all voices of dissent 
were excluded, and one party con- 
trolled the appointments to the Com- 
mittee and therefore controlled the 
process of selection of ministers for 
the Church. The actual proceedings of 
the work of the Committe of Triers 
reflect no glory upon the members 
and radiate no reassurance to us.^ 

The eye of the confessional wind- 
storm may be quiet, not only because 
we have learned some lessons from 
the past, the better wisdom to let 
sleeping eyes sleep, but also because 
a semantic revolution has shaken the 
whole of contemporary life. This 
revolution reaches into every corner 
of life, and one may watch words 
change color and meaning as quickly 
and subtly as the evening sky changes 
color values at sunset. Semantic prac- 
tices in advertising, law, politics, and 

^Richard Baxter said that the triers harassed the candidates with innumerably com- 
plicated questions about predestination and the work of the Holy Spirit. He wrote: 
Fuller had a friend on the bench (trier's bench) in the excellent John Howe. 
"You see, sir," said the quaint church historian, "I am a fat man, and have to 
pass through a very narrow passage; I pray you, give me a push." When asked 
the usual question, whether he had experienced a work of grace in his heart, 
Fuller replied, "I can appeal to the Searcher of Hearts, that I make conscience of 
my very thoughts." With this answer the extremes were satisfied. 
In that day, as always, it has been good for the candidate to have a friend at court! 



in ecclesiastical circles have stripped 
words of their rigid, exact meanings 
and interpretations. The modern se- 
mantic strip tease reveals neither too 
much nor hides too little. It is a 
known fact that there is no possible 
way of finding out exactly what a 
man means when he uses a word or 
what he believes; and anyway, what 
he means and believes today he may 
not reaffirm tomorrow morning. A 
new divine right has appeared to sup- 
plant the old divine right of king and 
church: it is the divine right to 
change one's mind and hold one's 
private opinion even when the major- 
ity call for conformity. Complex cur- 
rents of individual and social atti- 
tudes, influences, and assumptions, 
conscious and unconscious, lie be- 
neath the surface of a man's word 
and how he intends it to be under- 
stood and how others actually under- 
stand him. Religious assent, leagues 
and covenants, even the secular court 
oath and national pledge, are affected 
by the semantic revolution. Philoso- 
phers, philologists, and the phonetic 
scientists constantly seek to clear the 
muddy waters; but communication 
remains a major problem. 

The present word battle over the 
Proposed Confession is an example of 
this confusion. A recent report of the 
meeting of Pittsburgh Presbytery to 
discuss the Proposed Confession is 
replete with suggested word altera- 
tions. This sort of business could go 
on forever! After all, "normative" is 

no more easily interpreted than 
"rule," and "rule" is no more easily 
interpreted than "normative." Men 
who mean business must sooner or 
later give up shadow-boxing. 

Since there is little fervor for 

subscriptional controversy, and the 
impact of the semantic revolution has 
altered the basic point of view about 
the use of words, why does the 
Church retain a subscriptional policy 
and insist upon it? If there is no real 
excitement about it, and since there 
is no way of discovering exactly what 
a man believes, why still retain a 
pledge of any kind? We do not, as a 
Church, demand a subscription from 
members. Here is a dual standard — 
why carry it on? There is no doubt 
that large numbers of elders, deacons, 
and even ministers have been 
ordained without ever reading the 
whole Confession of Faith, the Form 
of Government, and the Book of 
Discipline. In the same vein, count- 
less people have united with the 
Church by profession of faith, and 
have withheld their private opinions 
and interpretations. The most scrupu- 
lously written subscription, together 
with the most efficient enforcement 
and punitive machinery, could never 
solve this situation. Why carry on, 
then, with a form, when it actually 
breaks down in practice? 

There are two answers, and both 
are arguments from human necessity. 
One is that the subscription act, like 



the courtroom oath, binds a pledgee 
legally to the institution, and pro- 
teas him and it from abuses; the 
other necessity arises out of the form 
and the life of the Church in the 
world; for the witness of the Church 
is largely caught up and unified in 
its leadership, which is held respon- 
sible by the Church and regarded as 
responsible by the world. The first 
argument for a subscriptional act is 
legalistic; the second, communistic. 

When an ordinand makes a sub- 
scription, he becomes liable under the 
law of the Church to perjury, with 
disciplinary action, within the frame- 
work of the Form of Government — 
much the same as one who swears to 
tell the truth before a court of law. 
The ordinand accepts this liability 
voluntarily and necessarily. The disci- 
plinary flurries of past years may 
have blown themselves out; but the 
fact still stands that an ordained 
of&cer may be accused, tried, con- 
victed of heresy, contimiacy, and be 
punished. The Damocles sword still 
hangs, and necessarily so, over the 
ordained man's head. An ordinee 
ought to be aware of this threat; he 
could be, under the proper circum- 
stances, cited, found guilty, censured, 
excommunicated, even deposed. For 
this reason every pledge, religious or 
secular, contains a phrase similar to 
this: "insofar as you know your own 
mind." Although this escape clause is 
written in, the relative liability of the 
pledgee remains. 

Yet the man who accepts the 
liability also accepts the broad free- 
dom in which the Church permits 
him to speak and work. With the 
threat there is a great amount of pro- 
tection, even for those with radical 
views; and there is the promise — the 
equity of the government of the 
church which assures the pledgee that 
he is never, even after deposition, 
without the promise of restoration. 
The subscription binds an ordinee to 
a discipline with legal powers of 
prosecution and enforcement, and it 
also binds him to a system of equity 
and mercy. His call, ordination, and 
continued appraisal by his brethren 
are within a Form of Government 
v/hich operates under the authority of 
Scriptures and the enlightenment of 
the Holy Spirit within a community 
of believers. He is afforded a maxi- 
mum of protection and a maximum 
of freedom. I believe it would be 
extremely difiicult in our church 
polity to convict a man of any crime 
other than contumacy. For this reason, 
heresy trials urged now by a few 
extreme voices are urged for the 
wrong reason! 

The only justification for this very 
legalistic situation is that it affords 
both the individual and the ordered 
church a protection against lawless- 
ness and disorderliness. It is a human- 
ly necessary legalism. In the case of 
the ordained officer, the subscrip- 
tional act raises him to the role of 
jurist and judge, a legalistic relation- 



ship with his fellow church members 
and prospective members who are 
under the same discipline. The 
ordained elder and minister may sit 
on the higher courts of the Church, 
and serve on commissions which have 
extreme legal powers delegated to 
them. The legal nature of the sub- 
scription act has its ex officio impli- 
cations — but the Church has wisely, 
by years of experience, insisted upon 
the ex dono nature of the election and 
ordination to office. If this were not 
so, we would become a purely legal- 
istic and Pharisaic Church, wholly 
self -regulated and contained. 

Presbyterianism stands, by its very 
nature, on the brink of aristocratic 
government, and in part is the his- 
torical enemy of secular ecclesiastical 
democratic action. For this reason 
the "best people" among us must 
always be defined in terms of wit- 
nesses to the life of the Spirit and 
not in terms of making and keeping 
covenants, and making formal attesta- 
tion to creeds, confessions, or cate- 
chisms. Both freedom and bondage 
must of necessity go hand in hand, 
freedom and bondage ex officio and 
ex dono. 

an insular one. In the case of both 
Congregational and Presbyterial or- 
dination, the candidate has had a 
history within the life of the whole 
Church. Ordination, then, is not an 
abrupt translation from one state to 

another, like a sudden promotion 
from laborer to boss. The life of the 
ordinand has been observed and ap- 
proved by the congregation and his 
election has been made by their will, 
and this means that they have known 
him and have approved of his wit- 
ness, habits, and service to the Church. 
This continuous history of member- 
ship and experience within the 
Church is the moderating factor in 
ordination. The student for the min- 
istry has come up for subscription 
after sessional endorsement, the pres- 
bytery's approval and supervision, 
and the seminary's edification. The 
ordination is part and parcel of a liv- 
ing, continuous, organic relationship 
within the whole life of the Church, 
For this reason a subscription to a 
separate grocery list of beliefs could 
never fully express the candidate's 
qualifications and motivations for 
office. Subscription is, therefore, nec- 
essarily sequential, not insulated. 

The first words addressed to the 
ordinand assume his former experi- 
ence and profit to the Church: 
"knowing these things. ..." This 
prefatory remark of the presiding 
officer assumes that the ordinand has 
had a wider range of experience and 
knowledge, far beyond that of the 
recitation of a creed, a confession, a' 
series of articles, or a declaration.! 
This postulate implies that thej 
pledgee has a personal grasp of thej 
basic historical and theological tenets' 
of the faith and an awareness of thej 



leformed theology and polity. He is 
dso presumed to know how the 
Jnited Presbyterian Church orders its 
ife according to the Direaory of 
X^orship, the Form of Government, 
ind the Book of Discipline under the 
Luthority of the Scriptures and the 
inlightenment of the Holy Spirit. In 
his basic assumption expressed by 
he presiding minister in the name 
)f the whole Church, and to the par- 
icular congregation before whom the 
»rdinand stands, there is common and 
nutual consent, agreement, and for- 
nal attestation on the part of all the 
)eople, together with the ordinand, 
o the specific questions put. This is 
hen a community confession; and 
he ordinand, supported by the con- 
gregation, is one with them and they 
xe one with him. This formal attes- 
ation of the individual is not in- 
ulated and solitary; it is individual 
)ut at the same time corporate, 
'cclesiological — certainly not a per- 
onal examination in English Bible 
nd theology. 

The apodosis follows: "and coming 
)f your own accord to be ordained. 

. . " The response to God's call 
hrough the people of God is a per- 
onal one and yet within the life of 
he community of believers. The 
)rdinee does not come to his office 
)ut of the cold; he is part of the 
amily. As such, he is both free man 
nd servant. In accepting the sub- 
aiption threat and promise, the 
>rdinee lays aside the private affairs 

of his everyday life to the extent that 
he is now willing to have them sub- 
jeaed to the community welfare and 
judgment; matters of private judg- 
ment in theology and ethics he is now 
bringing into obedience to the whole 
life of the Church. Freedom is not 
surrendered; bondage is accepted 
willingly. This does not rob the 
pledgee of the right to private opin- 
ion and judgment but rather places 
him under peculiar obligation to the 
conscience of the community. He 
does not surrender his rights to pri- 
vate judgment, only his private judg- 
ment's sovereignty over all things. 
The new sovereignty becomes the 
guiding force in this newly dis- 
ciplined life, under the direction of 
the Holy Spirit in the life of the 

The act of subscription is, as was 
stated in the Preliminary Principles 
published by the Synod of New York 
and Philadelphia in 1788, ministerial 
and declarative. The words of the 
new subscription clauses bring it 
more into line with the thought and 
intention of the 1788 principles. The 
former word "believe" in relation to 
the Bible is replaced by the word 
"accept," and the older words "re- 
ceive and adopt" have been replaced 
by the word "perform." The changes 
simply bind the ordinand to a minis- 
terial office and do not demand of 
him a subscription to secondary 
standards. The ordinee pledges to 
"perform" his duties, under the 



■'guidance" of the Confessions of 
the Church. The Confessions are, 
then, not separate ones, but secondary 
standards; and the ordinee accepts 
them as a guide in the performance 
of his duties, not as an itemized list 
of his beliefs. The Confessions be- 
come something like the "outline" 
Paul suggested to Timothy, a broad 
modeP- and undergirding structure of 
thought for his preaching and pas- 
toral work. It is interesting to note 
that Paul did not supply Timothy 
with an itemized list of things he was 
to believe but an outline, a general 
guide to the performance of his 
duties, leaving Timothy free to inter- 
pret in his own words. The pledge, 
then, on the part of the ordinee is 
to perform his duties under the guid- 
ance of the Confessions and is not a 
pledge to conform in very itemized 
detail of theological dogma to the 
exclusion of one's own opinion. 

In conclusion, whatever distur- 
bance there may be over the new sub- 
scription, there yet seems to be an 

overall awareness of the &.ct diat We 
are all caught in a hopelessly involved 
semantic problem. But there is little 
to be gained by stirring up subscript 
tional controversies in the Church. 
Although we cannot find sound bibli- 
cal and theological bases for religious 
oaths, leagues, and covenants, there is 
a very human necessity which, in 
turn, must be continually placed 
under the instruaion and correction 
of history and the Holy Spirit. How- 
ever, the human necessities remain: 
the mutual proteaion of the individ- 
ual officer and the congregation, and 
the need for a declarative outline to 
give shape and expression to the com- 
munity witness of the whole Church. 
Without these the Church would 
disintegrate and become a lawless, 
orderless, shapeless mob. Although 
these human necessities cannot be 
explicitly supported by Scripture, yet 
there is an argument, validated by all 
of human experience that supports a 
sort of divine necessity to insure the 
earthly welfare and survival of the 
Church. % 

WoTVTTwo-ts — cf. 1 Timothy 1:16. The word means "model," denoting an outline 
sketch or ground plan used by an artist or, in literature, a rough draft forming the 
basis of fuller exposition. Timothy was enjoined to follow Paul's outline of doctrine, 
not word for word as if he were reciting a creedal formula allowing for no deviation, 
but as a man free to interpret and expound Paul's doctrines in his own way. 

Book Reviews and Notes ■ ^ - t- ■ ^ 

Neufeld, Vernon H. The Earliest Christian Confessions. Vol. V: New Testa- 
ment Tools and Studies, ed. by B. M. Metzger. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 
1963. Pp. XIII + 166. $4.00. 

On the heels of form-critical re- 
search in the documents of the New 
Testament came the investigation of 
credal elements which would com- 
mend themselves as primitive parts 
and developmental bases in the ori- 
gins of those documents. The tend- 
ency was to concentrate on portions 
which manifested confessional form 
or appeared to be the stuff out of 
which early church creeds grew (e.g., 
Stauffer's Theology, Part Three and 
Appendix III). 

Neufeld has made a more basic in- 
vestigation. Examining all passages 
which show homologia in any form 
or relationship and working from this 
base, he has produced a detailed study 
of the faith the earliest Christians 
confessed even before there was a 
tendency to formal confession. The 
book was developed from a doctoral 
dissertation presented at Princeton 
Seminary; so there is an understand- 
able attention to meticulous detail. 

After scouting certain features of 
the nature of the homologia, the au- 
thor examines Judaism and the pagan 
world; for it is against this double 
backdrop that Christian confession 
was made. He then gives his most 
careful consideration to the letters of 

Paul and the gospel and letters of 
John (the material, be it noted, to 
which Bultmann directs the bulk of 
his attention in his Theology) . He 
adds shorter sections on the Synoptic 
Gospels and Acts, the Pastoral Letters, 
Hebrews, and First Peter. 

The earliest form of confession he 
finds in the declaration, "J^sus is the 
Messiah" (and he notes that the 
emphasis is on Jesus). In the Johan- 
nine writings this is often developed 
to "Jesus is the Son of God." In Paul 
the form is "J^sus is Lord." Other ex- 
pressions of the earliest confessions 
are for the most part modification of 
these basic forms. 

Considerable attention is given to 
the "life situation" and function of 
the homologia. It related "to the in- 
ner life of the community as well as 
the world outside." Whereas some 
have related confession exclusively to 
baptism or liturgy, Neufeld insists 
that the importance was broader, in- 
cluding, e.g., didache, apology, and 
confession in persecution. 

One might criticize the book in a 
number of details, but the overall 
contribution of the work is substan- 
tial. There is some redundancy, and 
occasionally a tentative conclusion is 



subsequently treated as final. On the 
other hand, one has the feeling that 
after Paul and John the other New 
Testament books receive somewhat 
shorter treatment than they merit. 

There is a Bibliography which in- 
cludes unpublished dissertations and 


articles. The index of passages in- 
cludes not only biblical references, 
but also apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, 
patristic literature, non-Christian 
literature, and papyri. 

—J. A. Walther 

Cochrane, Arthur C, ed. Reformed Confessions of the l6th Century. Phila- 
delphia: Westminster Press, 1966. I 

Check it in Cochrane! 

An important source book we 
have long waited for will be issued 
by Westminster Press on May 9, 
1966: a collection of twelve Re- 
formed Confession Books in modern 
English dress. Professor Arthur C. 
Cochrane of Dubuque has rendered a 
significant service to all who belong 
to English-speaking denominations of 
the Reformed family by collecting, 
translating, and carefully editing 
those twelve Confessions which in- 
deed occupy a superior place among 
the sixty or more confessional docu- 
ments which the Reformed churches 
had produced in the decades follow- 
ing the Reformation. The volume 
Reformed Confessions of the 16th 
Century opens with an instructive 
Introduction in which earlier transla- 
tions and editions are reviewed and 
in which a justification is given for 
the seleaion contained in the present 
collection. Few ministers own Schajff's 
well-known edition, and those who 

do have long regretted the omission 
of some documents as well as the 
antiquated form of language. Before 
long, Cochrane's book will be a 
treasured volume in many private 
libraries, and seminary students — not 
only in Presbyterian seminaries — will 
often have their professors say: 
"Make sure you check it in Cochrane," 
when preparing papers in theology. 
At last students, ministers, and 
interested laymen will have access to 
more than the Westminster Confes- 
sion alone. The full breadth of the 
Reformed tradition is now available 
to the English-speaking Church, a 
fact which will be appreciated not 
only by Reformed Christians, but 
also by the whole ecumenical com- 

The volume contains translations 
of the following Confessions to 
which Dr. Cochrane has added valu- 
able introductions and footnotes: 
1. Zwingli's Sixty-seven Articles of 



2. The Ten Theses of Bern, 1528 

3. The Tetxapolitan Confession, 

4. The First Confession of Basel, 

5. The First Helvetic Confession, 

6. The Lausanne Articles, 1536 

7. The Geneva Confession, 1536 

8. The Confession of Faith of the 
English Congregation at Geneva, 

9. The French Confession of Faith, 

10. The Scottish Confession of Faith, 

11. The Belgic Confession of Faith, 

12. The Second Helvetic Confession, 

The Appendix contains: The Ni- 
cene Creed, the Apostles' Creed, the 
Heidelberg Catechism, 1563, and the 
Barmen Theological Declaration, 
1934. These are merely reprinted 
without introductions. 

— Dietrich Ritschl. 

Berton, Pierre. The Comfortable Pew. (U.S. Edition; paperback.) Philadel- 
phia: Lippincott, 1965. $1.95. 

Mr. Berton makes it clear that the 
target of his criticism is "the official 
majority voice and leadership," and 
not the rank and file membership, of 
the major Protestant denominations. 
He then proceeds remorselessly to 
spell out the familiar indictment of 
our irrelevance, obscurantism, incom- 
petence, hypocrisy, pretentiousness, 
etc. etc. Apparently the public appe- 
tite for this kind of book is far from 
satisfied, for although no startling 
new data are produced — Mr. Berton 
freely concedes that "I would not 
pretend that there is much in this 
book that is new. Most of what I 
have to say has been said by others 
. . . many of these have been practic- 
ing Christians and clergymen" — sales 

of The Comfortable Pew have far 
surpassed those of any other book in 
the entire history of Canadian pub- 

What can one say, when one is a 
member of the establishment so 
severely chastised and when one rec- 
ognizes the presence of truth and 
force in Mr. Berton's strictures.'* Pre- 
cious little, it seems. A partial "de- 
fense" of the clergy is possible, and 
perhaps overdue — but would it im- 
press anybody? Having publicly 
identified ourselves with a faith and 
an institution, we cannot complain 
when we are taken to task; and even 
if we feel that Mr. Berton's attack is 
at some points unfair, and at other 
points simply uncomprehending, the 


piart of wisdoca seems to be that of of this kind fe; not another book but 

candidly accepting what must be 
taken seriously and trying to amend 
our ways. The best "reply" to a book 

more attention to our day-to-day 

- - — lam Wilson. 

Sainton, R. H., with Davidson, M. B., and the editors of Horizon Magazine. 
The Horizon History of Christianity. New York: American Heritage Pub- 
lishing Co., 1964. Pp. 432. $18.95. 

This is a magnificent volume 
which will richly repay lingering 
study and even cursory perusal. The 
text is authored by a reliable church 
historian, and the illustrations are 

In a text which attempts to span 
in concise compass some two mil- 
lenia of history there are bound to 
be details which are unacceptable to 
specialists in the several areas. Pro- 
fessor Bainton has chosen to decide 
boldly where there are choices to be 
made; and in such a volume the text 
is thereby rendered smoother and 
more readable — ^perhaps particularly 
where the expert would prefer to 
leave matters open (e.g., a connec- 
tion between John's logos and Stoic 
immanent reason) . 

There is a profusion of illustra- 
tion, a generous amount of it in col- 
or. Since the volume is printed on 
coated paper, even the incidental pic- 
tures are attractive. There are many 
full-page plates, and twelve "port- 
folios" are inserted among the chap- 
ters of text. These constitute ample 
material for a course in Christian art. 
Doubtless the art expert would have 
some differences of opinion on the 
editors' choices, but in such lavish 
wealth there is certainly much for 

It is probably inappropriate to 
quibble at the price, for such a book 
is extremely expensive to produce. 
Many persons will not be able to af- 
ford the volume, but it would be ap- 
propriate for church libraries. 

-■■ \ 



Hillerbrand, H. J., ed. The Reformation. A Narrative History Related by 
Contemporary Observers and Participants (with plates and illustrations). 
New York: Harper & Row, 1964. Pp. 495. $7.50. 

This is a source book for the pe- 
riod, made up of documents from a 
diverse roster of sixteenth-century 
people. There are "personal letters, 
governmental decrees, polemic pam- 
phlets, diary excerpts, and other im- 
portant documents," some from the 
famous, others from less known 
sources. One expects to find material 
from the pens of Luther, Calvin, and 
Knox; but here are also excerpts 
from papal encyclicals or "bulls," 
from the papers of Henry VIII, Gen- 
eva police ordinances, a report from 
the Venetian Ambassador to Queen 

Mary, and other fascinating literary 

The plates and illustrations are 
beautifully done and add materially 
to the usefulness of the volume. The 
book should be helpful to all but the 
specialist, and even the casual reader 
will find page after page to intrigue 
his interest. The book would also be 
of substantial value in a church li- 

The author is associate professor 
of Modern European Christianity at 
The Divinity School, Duke Univer- 


"... he who does not have time to read does not have time to 

— Editorial, Christianity Today. 



Volume VII 

June, 1966 

Number 2 


Volume VII June, 1966 Number 2 

Published four times yearly in March, June, September and December, by 
the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 North Highland Avenue, Pitts- 
burgh, Pa. 15206, one of the seven seminaries of the United Presbyterian 
Church in the U. S. A. Second-class postage paid at Pittsburgh, Pa. Changes 
of address should be sent to the Seminary, care of the Director of the Mail- 
ing Department. 

Editor: James Arthur Walther, Th.D. 

Publications Committees 
Faculty Student 

Malcolm S. Alexander Robert H. McClure, Jr. 

Lynn B. Hinds, Chmn. 
J. A. Walther 

J. Rowe Hinsey, ex. off. 

William R. Atkins, ex. off. 

William R. Phillippe, ex. off. 

Circulation: William Hill 

Secretarial Assistant: Mrs. Elizabeth Eakin 


Ad Hoc 2 

From the President's Desk 3 

In Memoriam . 4 

by Frank Dixon McCloy 
Plowing for Sowing 7 

by Andrew T. Roy 

The Pious Paganism of the Fundamentalist Temper 11 

by Edward Farley 

The Prodigal Way 17 

by Marion Fairman 
Book Reviews and Notes 

Chamberlin, Freedom and Faith — New Approaches 

to Christian Education 26 

D. H. Prytherch 

Myers, The Anchor Bible, Vols. 12, 13, 14 28 

Donald M. Gowan 

Dahood, The Anchor Bible, Vol. 16 30 

Jared J. Jackson 

Davies, The Setting of the Sermon on the Mount 34 

Dale Russell Bowne 

Trever, The Untold Story of Qumran 39 

J. A. Walther 

Haroutunian, God With Us 40 

Schilling, Contemporary Continental Theologians 42 

George H. Kehm 

Proudfoot, Suffering: a Christian Understanding 43 

Gordon E. Jackson 

Raines, Creative Brooding 44 

William R. Phillippe 

Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East 45 

Schwantes, The Ancient Near East 45 

Howard M. Jamieson 

Gingrich, Shorter Lexicon of the Greek N.T 46 

Westminster Study Bible 46 

Hunter, A Pattern for Life 46 

Books Received 47 


Ad Hoc I 

The March issue, dealing with aspects of the so-called "New Con- 
fession," is history; but its echoes are still audible. Because of an unsolicited 
editorial "plug" in Presbyterian Outlook, we found it necessary to reprint; 
and copies are now widely spread around the country. We appreciate the 
many comments we have received, most of them complimentary. 

Our September issue will be another "special," this one dealing with 
the so-called "new morality." There will be two extramural articles and five 
specialized responses by members of this faculty. 

This present issue is somewhat of a potpourri. The memorial minute 
on Dr. Culley was prepared by Professor McCloy at the behest of the Faculty. 
The articles by Drs. Farley and Roy were first presented as chapel messages 
in the Seminary last Fall. Dr. Farley is Associate Professor of Systematic 
Theology. Dr. Roy has been visiting professor of Mission during this academic 
year. On furlough from Hongkong, he and Mrs. Roy have been living on 
campus and have contributed much to the seminary community. Mrs. Fair- 
man is Professor of English at Westminster College, New Wilmington. We 
carried an earlier article from her pen just a year ago. 


Please notice the Book Reviews and Notes. We have an unusually 
broad selection this time. We hope they will be useful to our readers. The 
Editor is grateful to the reviewers who have shared in this exacting but 
unpretentious work. , 

Ave ATQUE Vale. We welcome a new Director of the Mailing Depart- 
ment, Mr. William Hill. We record our best wishes to Rev. E. D. McKune 
in his retirement. Mr. McKune has rendered many services to Perspective in 
the past six years, and we are grateful. 

—]. A. W. 

From the President's Desk — 


The word "new" is characteristic of our time. In most instances it 
seems to be used as a synonym for "novel," that is, something "not formerly 
known," hence, "unusual" or "strange." 

There is, however, another meaning to the word "new." It may mean, 
according to Webster, "the recurrence, resumption, or repetition of some 
previous act or thing; as a new year; also, renovated or recreated; as, rest had 
made him a netv man." In this sense, "newness" does not mean "novelty," the 
appearance of something which had never before been heard of, but rather 
the recurrence in new form of a former phenomenon or the renewal of some- 
thing which has long been in existence but has wasted its powers or lost its 
vitality. A man made new by rest is not a totally new entity which has just 
come into being. He is one in continuity with a long past who has recaptured 
the energies and the freshness of vision which were his before. 

This latter use of the word "new" is found frequently in the Bible. The 
"new covenant" of Jeremiah, for example, repeats the formula of the Old 
Covenant: "I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (Jer. 31:33; 
Exodus 6:7), a formula which, says John Skinner, "is capable of no enlarge- 
ment, but only of a fuUer realisation" — not something novel, but the deepen- 
ing of what has been there all the time. 

The same is true of our Lord's words in Mark 14:25: "I shall not drink 
again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the King- 
dom of God." The "new" here means "afresh," a heightened and perfected 
recurrence of an earlier fellowship, "a reassembling round another board," 
a reconstituting at a higher level of an earlier reality. 

Would not our talk of "newness" be more instructive and more charged 
with a hopeful dynamic if it had less of the note of novelty in it and more 
of the note of reconstituted past reality? It has been pointed out that the One 
who said, "Behold, I make all things new" ( Rev. 21:5), did not say, "I make 
all new things." The reconstituting of the old speaks more of continuity than 
of novelty. 

We need to recover a sense of history. Extremism, whether of the right 
or the left, either in politics or theology, is immaturity. The right often mis- 
takes the "new" for the old; the left often equates the "new" with the "novel." 
The members of the Laymen's Movement equate their views with the "old" 
faith, in many cases not being sufiEiciently theologically mature to know the 

Continued on page 10. 

In Memoriam 


David Ernest Culley was born near Hookstown, Washington County, 
Pennsylvania, on November 11, 1877. Much of his boyhood was spent in the 
company of his grandfather, a carpenter, from whom he acquired a love of 
and respect for good materials and careful workmanship. The community of 
Hookstown maintained a genuine culture of letters which had been planted 
in the earlier part of the nineteenth century by Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, and 
through k, David Culley was deeply touched with the power of the world's 
great literature. As an adolescent boy he resolved to master the various ancient 
and modern languages in order to explore the treasures of Hebrew, Greek, 
Roman and European thought. 

He attended Grove City College (1897-1898) for one year and later 
Washington and Jefferson from which he received a baccalaureate of arts in 
1901. In the autumn of that year he entered Western Theological Seminary 
where he came under the stimulating and rich tutelage of Matthew Brown 
Riddle, professor of New Testament, who gave to the young man, as to all 
his students, a probing, yet reverent way of handling the Scriptures and of 
distinguishing between the essential and the non-essential therein. At the 
conclusion of his theological studies in 1904 he went to Germany for graduate 
work, matriculating at the University of Leipzig. Here, David Culley com- 
menced his studies in the history of the Mediaeval Church and presented 
some years later a dissertation on Konrad von Gelnhausen and his place in 
the development of the Conciliar theory. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy 
was awarded in 1912. 

In the meantime, David Culley was appointed instructor in Greek and 
tutor for foreign students at Western Theological Seminary in 1906, and, 
in 1908, instructor in Hebrew. During the long summer vacations he reg- 
ularly returned to Europe studying at Paris, Florence (where he read Dante 
at the University, 1910), and in Germany where he pursued his Semitic 
studies under Gerhard Kittel and Hermann Gunkel. At Western Seminary 
David Culley was closely associated with Professor David Schley Schaff in 
the preparation of two volumes on the Mediaeval Church which had been 
uncompleted in his father's opus magnum, The History of the Christian 
Church. It was in this labor that Dr. Culley's extensive studies in the high 
Middle Ages were most fruitfully used. 


In 1912 Dr. Culley was appointed assistant professor of Hebrew. At the 
time of the erection of the library of Western Seminary, he took charge of the 
collection and introduced the cataloguing system of the Union Theological 
Seminary (New York). In 1921 Dr. Culley was elevated to the rank of pro- 
fessor on which occasion he delivered an address, The Hebrew Language in 
the Light of Recent Research. For two years, 1922-1924, he was professor of 
Bible at The Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham College) and 
was invited to become a permanent member of the faculty. However, he felt 
his vocation to be that of training young men for the Christian ministry, and 
chose to remain at the seminary. Dr. Culley was closely associated with Dr. 
James Anderson Kelso in the teaching of the Old Testament and the two 
collaborated in the publication of a Hebrew-English Vocabulary to the Book 
of Genesis (New York: Scribner's, 1917). During his long professorship ar 
Western Theological Seminary, which terminated by retirement at the age of 
seventy (in 1948), Dr. Culley emphasized two major aspects of Old Testa- 
mental revelation: the Book of Deuteronomy and the Psalter. These were 
the two embodiments of the prophetic insights of Amos, Micah, Hosea, Isaiah^ 
the one in the daily life of the community and the other in the inward life of 
the human soul. Dr. Culley would reveal to his students the moral grandeur 
of the Deuteronomic jurists and the Josianic reform with the same fervor 
and compulsion with which he disclosed the lyrical beauty of the nineteenth 
Psalm, or the drama of the twenty-second Psalm. The focus of his teaching, 
the centre around which his rich erudition was laid as an offering, was the 
"character" of the theological student (to use his word). Dr. Culley, with 
the artisan's and the artist's love for molding and shaping matter into durable, 
functional, and beautiful form, was ever at his task of molding character. He 
^w the minister in the community and in the congregation as one who em- 
bodies a design of moral grandeur, not conventional moralism or legal rigid- 
ity, but of the moral grandeur that always carries the overtones of tragedy 
and glory. By outright precept, by gentle humor, by sharp irony, by delicate 
understatement, Dr. Culley left his stamp on many hundred young men 
across the forty-two years of his teaching at Western Theological Seminary, 
and latterly as an honored mentor in the Presbytery of Wabash River, Indiana. 
Dr. Culley, together with Drs. James A. Kelso, William R. Farmer, 
James Snowden, colleagues on the Seminary faculty, were stabilizing forces in 
the Presbyterian Church of Western Pennsylvania during the strife of the 
'twenties and early 'thirties over conservative and liberal interpretations of 
Scripture and dogma. The broad background of education and interests of 
these men was a corrective for the narrow and sharp polemics of local con- 


txoversy. There was no serious, permanent division of the Presbyterian Church 
in this area. 

In 1943 Dr. Culley became the first dean of the Western Theological 
Seminary under the presidency of Dr. Henry A. Riddle, and continued to hold 
this office as well as his professorship until his retirement. Thereafter with 
his family he transferred his residence to Syracuse, Indiana, and for fifteen 
years maintained an active life of tutoring, preaching and pastoral care of the 
younger ministers of the Presbytery of Wabash River. 

Dr. Culley married Miss Helen Craig, who had come to the Seminary 
as librarian, and they had one daughter, Mary Katherine (now Mrs. James 
Butcher of East Lansing, Michigan ) . The Culley home in Craf ton was always 
open to Seminary students, and his annual spring dinner for the Senior class 
is fondly remembered by many alumni. 

Dr. CuUey's contribution to the Church of Christ was neither in the field 
of ecclesiastical statesmanship nor in the field of research and publication, 
but rather in that of Christian culture and expressing it in the lines and cast 
of personality. The accent of voice, the gesture, the very profile of his face 
testified to an inner universe of beauty which he had explored and, in a way, 
commanded. And he was a kind of door to this universe ever ready to be 
opened for the student. 

"Here — here's his place, where meteors shoot, clouds form, 

Lightnings are loosed, 
Stars come and go! Let joy break with the storm, 

Peace let the dew send! 
Lofty designs must close in like effects: 

Loftily lying, 
Leave him — still loftier than the world suspects 

Living and dying." 

[Robert Browning, A Grammarian's Funeral] | 

— Frank Dixon McCloy, '39. 


. Plowing for Sowing . 

by Andrew T. Roy 

7 tvill make justice the line, and righteousness the 'plummet; and the 
hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the ivaters shall over- 
flow the hiding place . . . and it shall he nought hut terror to under- 
stand the message. For the hed is shorter than that a man can stretch 
himself on it; and the covering narroiuer than that he can wrap 
himself in it . . . Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear 
my speech. Doth he that ploweth to sow plow continually? Doth he 
continually open and harrow his ground? — Isaiah 28: 17-23. 

1 HE Western World has been 
plowing — in Asia and Africa — with 
industrialism, Western science, rapid 
communications, and military power. 
We have been plowing, and often it 
has been a harrowing experience as 
well. The Church must see that the 
plowing is for sowing; that the har- 
rowing is for planting. The land 
quickly returns to jungle. Seeds blow 
in the air, and weeds spring up. 
There is no fence high enough to 
keep them out. Are we to plow for- 

We have recently plowed up colo- 
nialism, and in the resultant national- 
isms the same weeds have grown. It 
was right to plow, but we could have 
done more sowing. We have plowed 
with massive American economic aid, 
and often produced the same resent- 
ments that colonialism did. We must 
think how to aid development with- 
out sowing antagonism. Herman 

Hagedorn, after the First World War, 
wrote a poem from the dead to the 
living, in which he said, "Dead eyes 
keep watch. You who live shall do a 
harder thing than dying is, for you 
shall think, and ghosts will drive you 

Much of the plowing in our time 
has been done by forces outside the 
Church, but the Church must see 
that the sowing of good seed takes 

The Church is not an organization, 
or a set of buildings, but a com- 
munit)^ in movement, a worshipping, 
witnessing, expectant community — 
which is also a revolutionary move- 
ment, a missionary movement. It 
seeks to change and make new this 
broken, misled world which was in- 
tended for the close, interdependent 
family life of the children of God, 
in glad obedient contact with the 
Father. It therefore disturbs men, 


judges them, puts thorns in their 
nests, preventing them from sleep 
and peace and retirement from the 
struggle; calling upon them to watch 
and pray, to arise and work, to take 
up their crosses and follow, to aaive- 
ly reconcile and witness and extend 
the kingdom which is God's gift. 

But in a time of change and the 
shaking of foundations, men may be- 
come fearful and turn to religious 
faith for security. Security is a basic 
need of life; and it is good to sing of 
the "rock of ages" and of "a mighty 
fortress," as long as we realize that 
that is one aspect of the life of faith, 
but not the whole of it. The security 
of the knowledge of the presence and 
forgiving love of God is essential, 
but God is at work. Faith involves 
mission. Comfort cannot be separated 
from call. 

You may say, "I've put everything 
into God's hands, as into a bank, be- 
cause I trust Him," and not realize 
that you may have done so thinking 
of the security of the investment, and 
of the interest. But, giving everything 
to God is not like investing in a bank, 
but rather in an undertaking or a 
cause where you are thinking not of 
the assured return, but of the worth 
of that undertaking: the accomplish- 
ment of God's will. 

The word "Christian" and the 
word "Missionary" have always been 
synonymous. Christians have been 
those of "the way"; and the way is a 
highway, not a suburban dead-end. 

Men try to escape from the problems 
of the inner city into suburbs, but 
there are no world suburbs left. Cuba, 
Vietnam, Algeria, the Congo are all 
in your backyard; and the people 
there watch everything you do. We 
live in a glass fish-bowl. 

No matter how Christian a public 
statement in Washington, D. C, may 
be, if a theological student is mur- 
dered in Alabama, the printer's ink 
of the world's newspapers washes out 
immediately the effect of the good 

After the Reformation there was a 
time when the Protestant churches 
were not very conscious of their 
world mission. Then gradually, in- 
dependent missionary societies arose 
( outside of the official church organi- 
zations ) . The churches, in most cases, 
absorbed these and developed uni- 
lateral national missions. Then we 
moved into an identification of 
Church and Mission in a worldwide 
ecumenical efifort. We are now in a 
period of the interpenetration of 
whole peoples. Each year now some 
250,000 Americans pour through 
Hong Kong. Hundreds of thousands 
of American service men are in Viet- 
nam, Korea, and Japan, as well as 
scholars, diplomats, and business men. 
The evil in our common life, our 
average life, is not only harmful now 
to us, but to the Japanese, the Viet- 
namese, the Latin Americans; for it 
may prevent them from seeing Jesus 
Christ. Our civilization is not only 


pressing on all the doors of the world 
but effectively closing some of them. 

Mission is, therefore, not an option, 
an addition, a benevolence. It's a 
sine qua non, a necessity; and upon 
all of us is laid a sense of eschatol- 
ogical urgency. The time is short. 
"Now is the day of salvation." 

Though the time is short, the way 
may be long. 

Let no man think that sudden, in a 

All is accomplished and the work is 

Though with thine earliest dawn thou 
shouldst begin it 

Scarce were it ended in thy setting sun. 

O the regret, the struggle and the fail- 

Oh the days desolate and useless years! 

Vows in the night, so fierce and un- 

Stings of my shame and passion of my 

How have I knelt with arms of my 

Lifted ail night in irresponsive air, 

Dazed and amazed with overmuch 

Blank with the utter agony of prayer! 

Christians are called to be a pecul- 
iar people who in times of crisis and 
danger react not with fear and panic 
and impulse, but with increase of 
faith and outpouring of love. We are 
so taught by Christ who in his hour 
of great danger knelt and washed the 
disciples' feet and, even on the cross, 
in intense suffering, thought not of 
his own condition but of the thieves, 
his mother, and the angry crowd. 

There is a church in England with 
an inscription on its walls saying, 

"In the year 1653, when throughout 
the nation all things sacred were 
being profaned or destroyed, this 
church was built to the glory of God 
by Sir Robert Shirley, Baronet, Whose 
singular virtue it was to have done 
the best things in the worst times and 
to have hoped for them in the most 
calamitous." Some of the best things 
are happening in the worst times in 
Asia. Formosa, for instance, has ser- 
ious problems; yet the number of 
churches has doubled in the last ten 
years. Hong Kong has too many 
people for the available housing, for 
the available water, for the available 
food, for the available jobs. The 
people should be bitter. They're not. 
The people should be committing 
suicide. The rate is low. The people 
should be dying like flies. The death 
rate is lower than it is in the United 
States. The people should be over- 
whelmed by Communism; yet I know 
a former professional agent for the 
Party who is now giving her life to 
work for the Christian Church, and a 
former Party secretary who is now 
working as a Christian with released 
prisoners. I receive letters from a 
former Chinese student, a heroin ad- 
dict, who is cured and working to 
save other addicts through the So- 
ciety for the Aid and Rehabilitation 
of Drug Addicts. One Yale graduate 
who came out to teach for two years 
in Hong Kong has remained to do 
group work with drug addicts. The 
only explanation I can make for this 



Strange alchemy ... is that Christ is 
at work. 

If you are tempted in these days 
to be prudent, safe, calculating, and 
cannot understand why St. Francis 
threv/ his arms around the leper, or 
why Father Zossima threw himself 
on the ground (in The Brothers 
Karamazov) to hug the good earth 
and be glad . . . then begin to reread 
the Book of Acts — and learn again 
the meaning of the second mile, and 
the cloak also, and the Bishop's 
candlesticks, and the aip flowing 
over, and why it was that in the 
churches of Macedonia, "in a severe 
test of affliction, abundance of joy 
and extreme povert}^ overflowed in a 

wealth of liberality" (or, "a magni- 
ficent concern for other people" ) . 

Let us pray: 

Father, forgive us, that after many 
years we are still so far from under- 
standing Thy son, or truly accepting 
him, or fully obeying him. Grant us 
the grace of pardon, the healing of 
forgiveness, and the gift of vision 
to see, behind the proud inns that 
shut their doors in the face of love, 
the stable m.anger where truth was 
born and Thy Word flesh 
and dwelt among us. And may that 
vision remain clear even in those days 
when the dust falls and^ the smoke 
blinds our eyes. Amen. 

From the President's Desk — Continued 

history of the course of thought through which the church has come during 
the last 2,000 years, thus mistaking rather novel views of the late 19th or 
early 20th century with the historic faith. Counter views, such as the "Death 
of God" movement, are open to the change of "novelty," proceeding on the 
assumption that there is now a radical break with the past, or that the faith 
is ours to be reformulated by us in the light of the novel aspects of airrent 
human experience, as though Christianit}^ were something new that has grown 
up out of the traumatic experiences of modern man. 

The future would seem to belong to neither type of immaturity. The 
hope of true "newness" lies in the recovery of a dynamic faith which recon- 
stitutes the realities of the past. God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 

Concluded on page 16. 

The Pious Paganism of 
The Fundamentalist Temper 

by Edward Farley 

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not 
submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5 : 1 

The Galatians were, for the 
most part, Gentile Christians, which 
means that before they were Chris- 
tians, they were adherents of some 
hellenistic religion and cultus. Hence, 
Paul observes that before they knew 
God, before Christ came, they were 
slaves to the "elemental spirits," the 
stoikeia of the cosmos. People de- 
bate about what these stoikeia are, 
exactly. Whatever they are, it seems 
clear they are the ruling powers of 
hellenistic religions. In both Gala- 
tians and Colossians, all three places 
where the phrase is found, Paul men- 
tions ritualistic and ceremonial ob- 
servances in connection with them — 
dietary taboos, a complex religious 
calendar of days, months, and seasons, 
perhaps as complex as that which is 
mailed out each year from denomina- 
tional headquarters. 

Then, the Galatians were con- 
verted. They received the Spirit. 
Their righteousness was obtained 
through faith. The time of their 
slavery to the stoikeia ended. How- 

ever, at the time of Paul's letter, 
someone is telling the Galatians they 
had better gtt right with the Jewish 
Torah if they really want to be Chris- 
tians. And apparently the Galatians 
are listening to these "spies," as Paul 
calls them. So Paul writes his letter. 

He observes that they began in the 
Spirit; but if they do this, they shall 
end up in the flesh. And therefore 
instead of manifesting the fruits of 
the Spirit, they will do the works of 
the flesh. They were righteous 
through faith, but now they are try- 
ing to be righteous through the 
works of Torah. As Christians they 
were free, but they are exchanging 
their freedom for slavery. According- 
ly, the letter of Galatians is struc- 
tured and progresses along two paral- 
lel lines: 

Righteousness through faith (being 
in the Spirit) which produces 
freedom, manifesting fruits of the 
Righteousness through Torah (apart 
from the Spirit) which means trust 
in flesh and its powers, hence slav- 
ery, hence, ivorks of the flesh. 




And at what could be seen as the 
high point of the letter, Paul in 5:1 
says, "For freedom Christ has set you 
free ... do not submit again to a 
yoke of slavery." Now here and else- 
where Paul makes the point that sub- 
mitting to the Torah, to circumcision, 
to the claims of the Judaizers, is a 
return to their former slavery of 
pagan religion. Previously, you were 
slaves to the elemental spirits, and if 
you take up Torah, you will again be 
slaves. Why? What is there in com- 
mon between hellenistic religion and 
idol worship and being a pious Jew? 

In both cases one attempts to re- 
late himself to God or gods through 
human powers. Both represent hu- 
man beings trying to please God . . . 
either in the days, months, seasons, 
propitiations, sacrifices of pagan reli- 
gion, or the observances of the Jew- 
ish religious year, its torah, customs 
and traditions. So we have to make 
up our minds. Either Jesus Christ 
makes us free, or he does not. If he 
does, then the religious paraphernalia 
of both hellenistic and Judaistic reli- 
gion are superfluous. If he does not, 
there is no good news; and we still 
stand condemned, slaves to the ele- 
mental spirits, and their fruits, the 
works of the flesh. 

But why is life under law and 
under religion a bondage? Why 
would it put forth "works of the 
flesh?" Life under the law and reli- 
gion makes our relation to God, our 

righteousness, our destiny before 
God, all subject to a condition, and a 
very shaky, contingent condition at 
that . . . namely, the condition of 
human insight and effort. We are 
justified before God if we keep the 
cultic rules, and /'/ the priests and 
rabbis are right about the rules, and 
if we interpret them correctly, and if 
our motivation is pure. Life under 
law is successful to the degree that 
our knowledge of law and our power 
to fulfill it are perfect. This has a 
corollary. Life under the law and 
under religion has tremendous need 
for certainty. For if any of these ifs 
are uncertain or in error, all of it col- 
lapses; and we are condemned. This 
means that the religious life is one 
continual state of fear and turmoil, a 
state of perpetual and anxious activ- 
ity to maintain all the ifs and all the 
conditions. Furthermore, since it is 
the cultus and its traditions that 
make righteous, that cultus and 
those traditions have to be exactly 
right. But according to whom? A. 
says we ought to be circumcized, and 
B. pushes Sabbatarian laws, and so 
does C, but interprets them different- 
ly. And D. says if we don't believe 
D, E, and F, we will go to hell. So 
what has happened is that human 
destiny and righteousness before God 
is turned over to the relativities and 
strivings of human knowledge and 
human power. And since each one 
has to be right, bitter competition 
occurs along with its consequences of 



debating, quarreling, and jealousy. 
And these are the "works of the 
flesh" Paul is talking about. 

Most of these works are not ex- 
amples of Victorian fears of sensual- 
ity. These are works which human 
fear puts forth: enmity, party strife, 
striving, dissension, jealousy, envy. 
And behind it all is the need for cer- 
tainty about the details of religious 
belief and practice. For if any of this 
is uncertain, all is lost. So we must do 
anything and everything to protect 
that certainty. Any disagreement, 
therefore, must be seen as produced 
by an absolute opponent, an enemy. 
For our salvation does not depend on 
religion and law in general, but on 
our interpretations, and on detailed 
customs like circumcision. If one 
goes, everything goes, and tve go, 
into the abyss. No wonder this re- 
sults in "works of the flesh" — dis- 
sension, enmity, party strife. For no 
one is going to agree exactly about 
the pluralities and relativities of doc- 
trines, ceremonies, and moral deci- 
sions. So the brotherhood gets broken 
into many pieces, and each part 
claims to have the one true certainty, 
without which there is no salvation. 


All of a sudden Galatia seems 
very far behind, and the issue be- 
comes almost terrifyingly contempo- 

Like most words, "fundamental- 

ism" has several meanings. Some- 
times it means simply historical prot- 
estant orthodoxy. A fundamentalist 
thus is simply a person who stands in 
that theological tradition. I should 
like to make it clear that I am not 
speaking about fundamentalism in 
that sense at all. The word can also 
refer to a mood, a temper, an atti- 
tude, and, I think, a religion. And it 
is this I would attempt to portray. 
The fundamentalist temper does not 
stand simply for adherence to cer- 
tain doctrines or moral principles, 
but for an attitude ahoiU adherence. 
It is a temper or religion which re- 
gards as conditions of salvation cer- 
tain specified doctrines, or moral 
absolutes which are held as absolute- 
ly certain in a person's mind. 

The one unifying feature of the 
fundamentalist temper is the need for 
certainty in the sense of a human 
work. Now there may be types of 
certainty which arise out of, or which 
accompany faith. But the fundamen- 
talist temper manufactures its cer- 
tainties . . . insofar as ix. says, "Unless 
this doctrine is true, I lose my faith." 
"If there are no moral absolutes, I 
could not be a Christian," This sort 
of certainty is a human work partly 
because its content is a hmnan work 
and is selected among many possible 
contents as what we are certain 
about: partly because the criteria of 
certainty are manufactured — namely, 
the clarity of rational analyses and 
principles — ; partly because such cer- 



tainty must be maintained by the 
power of human will. When any 
evidence arises against any formula- 
tion or interpretation, the fundamen- 
talist can only close his eyes and 
exert his will. 

This need for certainty manifests 
itself especially in the two provinces 
of doctrine and morals. The funda- 
mentalist temper wants certainty 
about essential doctrines . . . and to 
get that tends toward the demonstra- 
tions for God in natural theology to 
get the doctrines off to a sound start, 
and relies on the infallible book to 
keep the arguments going. At this 
point it becomes apparent that the 
fundamentalist temper is more wide- 
spread than sectarian traditions such 
as Protestant or Catholic Christianity. 
It also has its political manifestation 
in Birchism and similar movements, 
where allegiance is demanded to an 
infallible Constitution, infallible doc- 
umentation, and infallible national 

In the area of morals the funda- 
jiientalist temper needs certainty 
about right and wrong; and because 
he needs certainty, he sees the right 
and good as located in eternal, un- 
changing absolutes which are clearly 
available in each situation in life. 
Anything which qualifies such, criti- 
cizes such, makes exceptions to such, 
is accordingly on the side of the im- 
moral. And in each ethical situation 
the fundamentalist temper wants to 
know, and often claims to know, 

exactly what the absolutely pure 
action is. 

For this reason the fundamentalist 
and God are on very close terms, so 
close in fact that it is difficult to dis- 
tinguish them. For the fundamental- 
ist knows what God's doctrines are, 
what God's interpretations of God's 
book are, what God's moral absolutes 
are, which is God's political party, 
which are God's colleges, God's sem- 
inaries, God's professors, God's theo- 
logical movements, God's ministers 
in the Presbytery, and God's publish- 
ing houses. 

Because fundamentalist certainty 
is a human work, the fundamentalist 
tends to live from himself. He tells 
us of course that he lives only from 
God . . . but then so did the Phar- 
isees, the Galatia Judaizers, and so 
does the Ku Klux Klan. For while 
the fundamentalist wants to live from 
God, he also is careful to insist that 
God obey the rules. Furthermore, the 
fundamentalist is careful to manufac- 
ture the rules God must obey . . . 
namely the kinds and criteria of cer- 
tainty which is the criterion for 

It should be clear by now that 
fundamentalism is not a heresy . . . 
that is, it is not primarily an intel- 
lectual or theological option which is 
just naive or in error. It is not one 
among many theological schools, it is 
not one of several interpretations of 
the Christian faith. It is not merely a 
certain slant on the Gospel. 



If it were these things, we could 
treat it as such, review it, evaluate it, 
adopt it, reject it, revise it; in short, 
we could handle it as one of the in- 
terpretations of the faith. Instead, 
fundamentalism in the sense of the 
fundamentalist temper is a religion, 
and as a religion, a pagan religion. 
Even as the Judaizing movement in 
Galatia was not a live theological 
option, but a competing faith, a faith 
which would set aside Jesus Christ 
for something else, so is the funda- 
mentalist temper. 

When the Judaizing movement 
wanted the Galatians to see religion 
as a human effort to obtain righteous- 
ness by returning to Torah and its 
ceremonial demands such as circum- 
cision, relation to God, righteousness 
before God, righteousness from God, 
all became conditioned upon the reli- 
gious cultus. The fundamentalist tem- 
per makes relations to God, right- 
eousness before God, conditioned 
upon certain human formulations 
being true, infallible, and certain. If 
the Nicene formulation of Christ's 
divinity goes, I shall lose my faith. If 
the Bible contains a single error, if 
traditional Protestant piety passes 
away, if I can't be certain about the 
Westminster Confession ... if ... if 
... if all of these things, or any of 
them ... I shall lose my faith. Which 
means: my faith depends on the con- 
tingencies of human and historical 
efforts, and my will pov/er in clinging 
to them. 

If the thesis is correct, that the 
fundamentalist temper is an example 
of religion according to the flesh and 
therefore produces bondage, then it 
will result in what Paul calls the 
"works of the flesh." Is this the case? 
How is it that the lust for certainty 
ends us in works of the flesh? If I 
myself am the basis of my faith by 
my willful clinging to certainties, I 
live in perpetual fear lest one of 
these be taken away. So the whole 
tenor and tone of my life is one of 
defense, protection, suspicion, ex- 
plaining away difficulties, isolating 
my certainties from possible criti- 
cism. And while many share the fun- 
damentalist temper, very few agree 
about exactly what is certain. Yet, 
no disagreement about certainties can 
be admitted; for every disagreement 
simply amounts to damnation, i.e., 
since salvation depends on these cer- 
tainties. This being the case, the fear 
aspect of the fundamentalist temper 
easily and quickly puts forth dissen- 
sion, enmity, party strife, jealousy, 
en\y, selfishness — in short the works 
of the flesh and the situation of slav- 

Will I sound too pessimistic if I 
say that I notice this pagan faith to 
be very widespread in the churches? 
It is not the only pagan faith there, 
but it is a formidable one. The 
churches often serve to create and 
foster this faith. Children are nour- 
ished in it. Teachers, leaders, 
churches, and colleges reinforce it 



... so that this temper becomes 
formed, developed, solidified into a 
life-destroying, reality-denying, hu- 
manity-devouring thing. How many 
come to seminary each year, not 
simply in the spirit of being staunch 
defenders of orthodoxy, but as God's 
representatives in the school, who 
have the inside dope on God's doc- 
trines, God's system of morals and all 
the rest? Fearful, lest they be cor- 
rupted, lest some certainty meets its 
demise. And the churches may be in 
more danger now than in previous 
decades; for we are in a period of 
far-reaching change, change which 
directly confronts many of the so- 
called "certainties" of the fundamen- 
talist temper. And contemporary 
ministers face the decision simply to 

tolerantly ignore this pious-sounding 
pagan religion in our midst, or to 
confront k as Paul did with the Good 
News of Jesus Christ. And surely we 
cannot be indifferent to it or tolerant 
before it. We must rather confront it 
compassionately and fearlessly as we 
would confront any pagan faith, and 
preach the Gospel to k. Fundamen- 
talists are prisoners and slaves, and 
need the Good News of Jesus Christ 
to call them to freedom, and away 
from the works and certainties of the 

For freedom Christ has set us 
free; stand fast therefore, and do 
not submit again to a yoke of 

From the President's Desk — Concluded 

not a God of our own making. John Gensel, the minister to the Jazz musi- 
cians in New York City, recently recalled the unexpected blackout there some 
months ago. He remarked that they had to trace the source of the trouble and 
reestablish the broken paths over which the vital energies flowed; but this 
did not mean a discontinuity with the past, a scrapping of the entire system 
and a rebuilding from scratch. Most of the old structures are still intact, still 
valid channels for conveying the old energies. Renewal was restoration, not 
recency; it was recovery of former vitalities, not untried innovation. 
Does this contain a parable for the church? 

— D. G. M. 

The Prodigal Way 

by Marion Fairman 

JVIodern novels, dramas, short 
stories, and poems spell out an expe- 
rience of alienation, an exploration 
into despair, a journey that T. S. 
Eliot suggests he would be able to 

. . . describe in familiar terms 
Because you have seen it, as we all have 

seen it. 
Illustrated, more or less, in lives of 

those about us.^ 

Although most modern writers 
agree that man reaches a point of ter- 
rible isolation, they are in no way 
agreed in a solution for man's dilem- 
ma. One group of writers abandon 
man in the abyss where he has fallen, 
allowing him to wander not knowing 
whether he is alive or dead, not able 
to communicate with other half-alive 
men, vainly calling out to a God 
"grown silent." In such diverse forms 
as Eliot's "Hollow Men," Beckett's 
Waiting for Godot and his Krapp's 
Last Tape, and Jean-Paul Sartre's 
No Exit, modern life is portrayed as 
a waste land, peopled with the dry 
bones of men, unfleshed men living 
with no faith, no hope, no love, a ter- 
rible picture of a world without 
meaning, a world that ends "not 
with a bang but a whimper." 

Another group of writers picture 
man flying into illusions of relief be- 
cause he cannot endure the direct 
look into the darkness of the abyss. 
In these writings, man variously tries 
to escape into "nature," into the "un- 
conscious," into the "primitive," into 
violence, into piety, into sex. But in 
such differing forms as Galsworthy's 
Escape,]?in\ts Parrel's Studs Loningan 
Trilogy, Peter De Vries' The Mack- 
eral Plaza, man's attempts to escape 
end in futility. Like Ethan and Mat- 
tie in Ethan Erome who try to escape 
an intolerable situation by crashing 
their bobsled into a tree, the protag- 
onists of many works of art are de- 
nied even the relief of death but are 
forced to live their tortured existences 
maimed, worse off in the abyss than 
they were before. 

Still another group of modern 
writers envisions man's life as dark, 
narrow, but honest, a life in which 
man asks for and gives no quarter. In 
Time,y[.z.iQ\i 9, 1962, Tennessee Wil- 
liams explains his views of existence: 

There is a horror in things, a horror at 
heart of the meaninglessness of exis- 
tence. Some people cling to a certain 
philosophy that is handed down to them 

IT. S. Eliot, "The Cocktail Party," TIhe Complete Poems and Plays 1909-1950 (New 
York: 1952), p. 365. 




and which they accept. Life has a mean- 
ing if you're bucking for heaven. But if 
heaven is a fantasy, we are in this 
jungle with whatever we can work out 
for ourselves. It seems to me that the 
cards are stacked against us. The only 
victory is how we take it.^ 

A large number of modern authors 
picture man "taking it," living with 
a kind of controlled self-pity which 
enables him to face the world with- 
out faith. Humanism, which has been 
described as "the attempt to keep 
oneself up in the deep, deep sea by 
the exertion of one's hands," can 
scarcely fail to appeal. Any one of the 
varieties of humanism, the stoicism in 
Hemingways' Old Man and the Sea, 
the human compassion in Albert 
Camus' The Stranger, or the sacra- 
mental human love in Ignazio Silone's 
Bread and Wine, allows the relating 
of a tale of courage, of hardihood, of 
man standing up to life. Who doesn't 
appreciate this classical heroic ideal? 
Men respond to the modern note of 
heroism as they stir in feeling with 
Renaissance humanism, with a Mac- 
beth who, faced with all the conse- 
quences of unrepented crimes, seizes 
his sword and cries out against Mac- 

Ring the alarum bell! Blow wind! Come 

At least we'll die with harness on our 

Lay on, MacduflF 

And damn'd be him that first cries 

Hold! Enough! 3 

Humanism, of whatever era, is a 
song of praise for man's unconquer- 
able will in a life "told by an idiot, 
full of sound and fury, signifying 

But there is a group of modern 
writers for whom humanism can 
never be satisfactory. For them, hu- 
manism, though appealing, appears 
in its Renaissance form to depend 
upon man's reason. The existential 
humanist has, however, gone to great 
lengths to prove that reason unde- 
pendable. Perhaps there is some 
significance in the timing of Albert 
Camus' story of man's fall from illu- 
sion, a novel which appeared after 
his comparatively optimistic themes 
of existential sympathy for man's 
plight in The Plague and The Stran- 
ger. Perhaps man's confidence in hav- 
ing reached the outer strands of under- 
standing is the final web of his illu- 
sion! Humanism, in any of its forms, 
leads again to the void of despair, 
man backed against the wall, cling- 
ing to his sanity with a kind of ad- 
mirable but hopeless courage. 

This last group of modern writers, 
then, will not consent to stop with a 
narrative of man's alienation; they 
write further toward what Charles 
Williams calls "the way of affirma- 
tion." Isolation, that point at which 

Time, March 9, 1962, p. 53. 
'Act V, Scenes V and VIII. 



most serious authors arrive, becomes 
for this group of writers a place at 
which hope is a potential, an apex of 
experience in which conversion is a 
possibility, a journey, which because 
of its Biblical archetype may be 
called the "Prodigal Way." 

Still, they insist with other serious 
writers, that the way to the pos- 
sibility of regeneration must be 
through the depths of man's despair; 
they recognize that hope is not a 
potential until man's self-sufficiency 
has been stripped from him; they 
predict that man cannot become the 
"prodigal" until, like his Biblical 
prototype, he has eaten the leavings 
of pigs. They emphasize the Biblical 
doctrine that man can initiate noth- 
ing for his own salvation. The theo- 
logian Paul Tillich, in The Shaking 
of the Foundations, suggests that 
regeneration will not come about "if 
we try to force it upon ourselves, 
just as k shall not happen so long as 
we think, in our self-complacency, 
that we have no need of it."* Eliot 
echoes man's inability to help him- 
self when he writes, "to be restored, 
our sickness must grow worse." W. 
H. Auden suggests the obstacle to 
man's salvation this way: 

As long as the self can say "I," it is 

impossible not to rebel; 
As long as there is an accidental virtue, 

there is a necessary vice; 

And the garden cannot exist, the mir- 
acle cannot occur.^ 

The process of regeneration, then, 
apparently begins only when man 
recognizes that he is lost. Karl Barth, 
the Swiss theologian, even goes so 
far as to suggest that when a man 
knows he is lost, he is saved. Auden 
implies the same possibility in a light- 
hearted vein: 

Anthropos apteros for days 

"Walked whistling round and round the 

Relying happily upon 
His temperament for getting on. 

The hundredth time he sighted, though, 
A bush he left an hour ago, 
He halted where four alleys crossed, 
And recognized that he was lost.^ 

This group of writers allows man, 
after he knows he is lost, some under- 
standing of his dilemma. Man com- 
prehends the complexity of his sin,, 
seen partially as man's deliberate 
choice. Reinhold Niebuhr, in The 
Christian View of Man, suggests that 
the essence of man is "freedom," and 
that "sin is committed in that free- 
dom." Writers of all ages have under- 
stood man's deliberate choice as sin. 
Shakespeare's Macbeth takes con- 
scious steps toward the acquisition of 
the throne of Scotland through mur- 
der; Othello chooses to believe that 
the innocent Desdemona is guilty; 
Lear gives away his throne and army 

■^Paul Tillich, The Shaking of the Foundations, p. 163. 

^W. H. Auden, "For the Time Being," Collected Poetry (New York: 1957), p. 412. 

•^"The Labyrinth," ibid., p. 9. 



in a foolish, grandstanding gesture. 

But writers in this modern Chris- 
tian tradition comprehend sin as 
more than deliberate action; evil is 
understood as a condition of human 
life, something innate in man's being, 
not simply as something committed. 
In the dramatic adaptation of Herman 
Melville's Billy Budd, Captain Vere 
explains to Billy, "When a man is 
born, he takes a guilt upon him, I 
can't say how or why."' In Eliot's 
"The Cocktail Party," Celia expresses 
the same idea: 

It's not the feeling of anything I've 
ever done, 

Which I might get away from or any- 
thing in me 

I could get rid of — but of emptiness, 
of failure 

Towards someone, or something, out- 
side of myself;^ 

By this group of writers, then, the 
tragic situation of man is expressed as 
primary and uncaused, as condition 
more than as action. As the prodigal 
son at the apex of his experience 
"comes to himself," so "prodigal" 
man, at his nadir of isolation "comes 
to himself"; he knows that he is lost; 
he understands why he is lost. He 
understands that he has sinned and so 
he is guilty, but he also understands 
that insofar as he has been sinned 
against he is innocent. He longs for 
justice, but for whom shall it be.^ He 

cannot cry out for justice because he 
is guilty. His innocence and his guilt 
are of a piece; this is the dilemma of 
which Dorothy L. Sayers writes: 

Though you slay innocence and outlaw 

Ye cannot undo the brotherhood of the 

Every man and every woman of you 
Is the whole seed of Adam, not divided 
But fearfully joined in the darkness of 

the double self.^ 

No "magic" solution to man's di- 
lemma is offered by modern writers 
in the Christian tradition; the force 
which they see brought to bear upon 
man in his hellish isolation is the 
revelation of love through the divine 
being who put himself in jeopardy by 
the appearance of Christ in human 
affairs, an appearance described in 
the Biblical accounts of the incarna- 
tion, the crucifixion, and the resur- 
rection. Love, not justice, is the Bib- 
lically based answer which modern 
Christian writers offer for the suffer- 
ing, the loneliness, and the despair of 
man, not a love of man for man, but 
a sacramental love of God for man; 
not philia, a love based on justice and 
equality, but agape, a love which 
pours out everything expecting noth- 
ing in return. 

It is this action of God in an earth- 
ly existence which makes possible re- 
generation for man. This modern 

■^Louis O. Coxe and Robert Chapman, "Billy Budd," Religious Drama 3 (New 

York: 1959), p. 204. 
^Op. cit., p. 363. 
^Dorothy L. Sayers, "The Just Vengeance," Four Sacred Plays (London: 1959), p. 313. 



emphasis upon the divine initiative 
marks the great change in Christian 
literature from the medieval period. 
At the end of the medieval Every- 
man, the doctor admonishes the 

Ye hearers, take it of worth, old and 

And forsake pride, for he deceiveth 

you in the end; 
And remember Beauty, Five Wits, 

Strength, and Discretion, 
They all at last do Everyman forsake. 
Save his Good Deeds there doth he 

But beware and they be small. 
Before God he hath no help at all.^*^ 

The medieval Everyman rests on the 
implication that man is the master of 
his fate; the action of the play is 
based upon the belief that man justi- 
fies himself before God by his good 
deeds. In modern Christian writing, 
the concept is quite different. In 
Graham Greene's The Power and the 
Glory, the moral situation of the 
priest worsens as he sinks further and 
further into sin, but he is still able 
to receive grace and to g\NQ. it in the 
form of communion, indicating 
Greene's separation of the hero's 
spiritual situation from his moral 
behavior. It is the same distinction 
which Christ seems to make at the 
other end of the scale of moral values 
as he pours out his anger at the Phar- 
isee. One way of stating the differ- 

ence between medieval writing and 
modern Christian writing is to say 
that medieval writing is Catholic with 
a doctrine of works; modern writing 
is Protestant with a doctrine of grace. 

Through man's knowledge of his 
lostness, the understanding of his 
dilemma, and his comprehension of 
the love which is offered, the reality 
of God in Christ in these various 
writings ceases to be an historical or 
philosophical or academic or aesthe- 
tic matter; instead, it becomes for 
despairing man a contemporary, im- 
mediate, imperative, experiential mo- 
ment. In deceptively simple terms, 
Tillich states that nothing that man 
can do is demanded of this experi- 
ence, "no religious or moral or intel- 
lectual presupposition, nothing but 
acceptance." ^^ By the acceptance of 
the love of God, man understands 
that he also is accepted, a process 
which Charles Williams calls the 
"coinherence" of God and man. 
Auden expresses the union of God 
and man in words often used to 
describe sexual love: "... because of 
his visitation, we may no longer de- 
sire God as if he were lacking; our 
redemption is no longer a question 
of pursuit but of surrender to Him 
who is always and everywhere 
present." ^■- 

Lest anyone should think that the 

'^^"Everyman," sel. E. Martin Browne, Religious Drama 2, (New York: 1958), pp. 

110/7. cit., p. 161. 
i-'"For the Time Being," op. cit., p. 430. 



offer and the acceptance of this kind 
of love is easy, Auden warns in the 
same poem that grace is made pos- 
sible only by Christ consenting to his 
own death; that to accept this love, 
man must give the same consent for 
his own death: 

For the garden is the only place there 
is, but you will not find it 

Until you have looked for it every- 
where and found nowhere that is 
not a desert; 

The miracle is the only thing that hap- 
pens, but to you it will not be ap- 

Until all events have been studied and 
nothing happens that you cannot 

And life is the destiny you are bound 
to refuse until you have consented to 

Not only must man consent to die, 
but he must experience a new birth. 
Like natural birth, this spiritual birth 
is a happening which is painful to 
man, an experience of "hard and bit- 
ter agony" which strips him naked of 
his illusion, an event which leaves 
him with an awesome awareness of 
his frailty. In Eliot's "Journey of the 
Magi," one of the wise men speaks 
of his journey to Bethlehem: 

All this was a long time ago, I re- 

And I would do it again, but set down 

This set down 

This : were we led all that way for 

Birth or Death? There was a Birth, 

We had evidence and no doubt; I had 

seen birth and death, 
But had thought they were different; 

this Birth was 
Hard and bitter agony for us, like 

Death, our death. ^^ 

By using the story of the prodigal 
son as the thematic structure for their 
work, modern Christian authors write 
of the end of one journey and the 
beginning of another, the abandon- 
ment of the quest into darkness and 
the taking up of the journey into 
light. Although the theme of the 
quest is a familiar one in literature, 
modern Christian writing has not so 
far dealt with the second journey it- 
self; i.e., in terms of the Biblical 
story, not the completed journey 
home to the father. Rather, the writ- 
ings have concentrated upon the 
necessity for the second journey, with 
that existential moment at the apex of 
man's experience, and with his first 
tremulous steps upon that way 
described by Eliot as 


unknown, and so requires 

The kind of faith that issues from 

The destination cannot be described; 
You will know very little until you get 

there . . . ^^ 

Although this "second" journey is 
described as one taken up, in Kierke- 
gaard's term, by a "wanderer," as one 
which must be started without proof 

^^Ibid., p. 402. 

i40p, ciL, p. 69. 

15'The Cocktail Party," op. ch., pp. 364-365. 



of destination, and as one which will 
be walked with unavoidable loneli- 
ness, even the first few steps on this 
new way are significantly different 
than the first journey into despair. As 
accepted man walks this "second" 
way, his path is illuminated by an 
awareness of life in the midst of 
death, a theme which is distinctively 
and uniquely Christian. In Graham 
Greene's The Man Withm, Andrews 
turns on Elizabeth for not yielding to 
him before marriage. Elizabeth re- 
plies, "You can't understand. It's not 
what you call respectability. It's a 
belief in God. I can't alter that for 
you. I'd leave you first." Andrews 
scoffs at her and asks, "What has He 
done for you?" Elizabeth does not 
answer for a long while. At last with 
a faint note of apology, she brings 
out the brief but significant reply, 
"I ami alive." 

This concept of life in death al- 
lows no sentimental wiping away of 
man's responsibility for his own 
behavior nor does k ignore evil. 
Dorothy L. Sayers, in her dramatiza- 
tion of the life of Christ, The Man 
Born to Be King, makes abundantly 
clear that the evil of Judas and the 
suflFering and death of Christ remain 
realities; Christ did not escape the 
cross; he rose from the grave, the 
eternal symbol of the victory of life 
over death. The salvation of man in 
modern Christian literature is not an 
escape from the abyss into which he 

has fallen, nor is it a desperate cling- 
ing to the remnants of his human 
glory, but it is redemption in the 
midst of hell, life in the presence of 
death, meaning in the center of chaos. 

Man's moment of vision at the 
apex of despair begins his long, hard 
journey out of hell to "perfect joy." 
He continues to live in today, in the 
"time being," that Auden suggests is 
the "most trying time of all." But 
man's reason, his imagination, and his 
capacity to love are redeemed in what 
Eliot calls the daring of "the awful 
moment of surrender." On that long, 
lonely way, man's daily life recovers 
meaning. The person who knows he 
is accepted is no longer "victim" no 
matter what his non-important role 
in life. As beloved creature, he is 
broken loose from Melville's "deadly 
forms" and Camus' "little-ease"; the 
accepted, the forgiven, the beloved 
can stand up and stretch like a man. 

Man's right choice restores not 
only significance to his individual life 
but meaning to his endeavors. Joyce 
Cary asserts, "I believe that there is 
such a thing as unselfish love and 
beauty ... I believe in God and His 
grace with an absolute confidence. It 
is by His grace that we know beauty 
and love, that we have all that makes 
life worth living in a tough, danger- 
ous, and just world. Without that 
belief I could not make sense of the 
world and I could not write." ^*^ 

Most of all, the man who under- 

Writers at Work (New York: 1962), p. 57. 



stands grace and accepts it experi- 
ences a miraculous reunion of life 
with life, the ability to look frankly 
into the eyes of another. Tillich sug- 
gests: "We experience the grace of 
understanding each other's words. We 
understand not merely the literal 
meaning of the words, but also that 
which lies behind them, even when 
they are harsh or angry. For even 
then there is a longing to break 
through the walls of separation. We 
experience the grace of being able to 
accept the life of another, even if it 
be hostile and harmful to us."^" In 
the midst of all our spitting and 
being spit upon, Auden suggests we 
have been given in the "time being," 
our "choice of How to love and why." 
The actual homecoming of the 
prodigal suggests a fruitful paradox. 
Clearly, man's moment of vision at 
the nadir of his despair, the "coming 
to himself" in the Biblical story, in- 
dicates that the father has been pres- 
ent not only in the journey away 
from home but in the "abyss" itself. 
Yet, the father runs out to meet the 
prodigal. Evidently, the father has 
been immanenr, that which has ap- 
peared to be a journey away from the 
father is truly the journey to the 
father. The prodigal, the wanderer, 
the spiritually alienated, returns to 
where he had been. The journey it- 
self, then, must be symbolic, the gap 
between what the prodigal was and 

what he now is. For our understand- 
ing, then, the journey from the father 
to the father is a perpetual arriving 
at where we are, an endless becoming 
what we are capable of becoming, a 
constant receiving from the hands of 
the father running to meet us, a God- 
ly gift transforming our lives into 
their true calling. 

Christian literature of today con- 
stitutes a rebuke to the apparent will- 
ingness of many writers to leave man 
in his despair. Christian authors sug- 
gest that there can be no self-fulfill- 
ment for man without a direct con- 
frontation with God in the lonely 
debate of the human soul, no over- 
coming of the hell of isolation with- 
out a willingness to suffer the death 
necessary to the penetration of self, 
no meaning to life without taking on, 
in faith, the lonely journey of the 
way of affirmation. 

Writing, in the Christian tradition 
today, is turned toward the rehabilita- 
tion of modern man who is conceived 
by most writers as turned in upon the 
isolated hell of himself and so is cut 
off from the transforming purposes 
of his life. Some Christian authors 
are bold enough in this age of dis- 
belief to ask man to live through 
faith in God in a spirit of sonship; to 
discover through the acceptance of 
love, life in the midst of death; to 
experience through understanding, 
compassion for the pain of another. 

^Wp. cit., p. 161, 



No one would be foolish enough 
to suggest that Christian voices are 
in the majority among modern 
writers. But as significant minority 
voices, they strike an eternal note of 
health in the midst of sickness, of 
strength in the center of weakness, of 
hope in the heart of despair. They 
proclaim that at the pit of man's 
refusal, his evasions, his guilt, stands 
no ladder by which he may mount, 
but a cross which draws upon itself 
all the contradictions of life and 
reveals them in their absolute impli- 
cations, offering to man his only 
option, the acceptance or refusal of 
love. Modern writings in the Chris- 
tian tradition contain the sap and 
savour of Christianity; they suggest 
that an understanding of the con- 
temporary significance of the events 
of the incarnation, the crucifixion, 
and the resurrection offers twentieth- 
century man an ample opportunity to 
add a deeper meaning to his life, and 

they sturdily insist that the redis- 
covery of modern man will also be 
the rediscovery of God in Christ. 

The Biblical story of the prodigal, 
then, is not simply a tale of the geo- 
graphcial return of a wayward son 
from exile, but is, essentially, a struc- 
tural metaphor. It recognizes that in 
time of spiritual dearth, man wanders 
from his "home"; but the story sug- 
gests that the journey, though dan- 
gerous and difficult, is nevertheless 
big with promise of a fresh aware- 
ness of the true; indeed, the journey 
may be a mysterious "call," drawing 
man through "aloneness" into a new 
covenant with the father; moreover, 
it suggests that man's willingness to 
risk descent into the uttermost limits 
of death may be part of the impera- 
tive to return again and again, like 
the prodigal, to the Source of his 
being, to engage, through the accep- 
tance of love, in the divine movement 
of victory over nothingness and death. 

Book Reviews and Notes ^ 

Chamberlin, J. Gordon, Freedom and Faith — New Approaches to Christian 
Education. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1965. $3.95. 

In our current concern for the re- 
newal and relevance of the Church in 
a rapidly changing world, we are 
standing on a significant threshhold 
in "church education." Moving from 
the religious education movement of 
the earlier years of this century, a 
twenty-year point and certain prob- 
lems have become apparent in the 
development of effective Christian 
education in the church. The United 
Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., and 
several other denominations are in 
the throes of deep reappraisal and 
further curriculum development, and 
there is a new measure of concern for 
the responsibility and adequacy of the 
teacher. What do we mean by "Chris- 
tian education" as we proceed on our 
way to "church education." 

Dr. Chamberlin of the seminary 
faculty has given us an evaluative 
book which presses on beyond criti- 
cism to suggest some new approaches 
and emphases. I find it to be most 
helpful of those I have read this year 
in attempting to clarify where we 
have been, where we are, and where 
we need to go in the church's teach- 
ing ministry. Observing the tacit and 
continuing marginality of education 
in the church, the author notes the 
lack of a discrete discipline or philos- 

ophy of Christian education because 
the major writers in the field have 
not written in conversation or debate 
with each other. "No effort has been 
made to work out common principles 
of formulation, methodology of study, 
or scope of content" (p. 20) . 

In Part I, he proceeds with an 
examination of the contemporary 
philosophies of Christian education as 
expressed by men whom he feels are 
the three most influential writers of 
the last two decades — James D. Smart, 
Randolph Crump Miller, and Lewis 
J. Sherrill. The definitions and em- 
phases of each of these men is pre- 
sented and then developed into a 
comparative dialogue, with Dr. 
Chamberlin entering into the dia- 
logue at many points and raising 
questions from his own perspective. 
The framework of this appraisal is 
brought forth in four steps or ques- 
tions which examine: (1) the con- 
text in which church education is 
carried on, (2) the relation between 
the fields of education and theology, 
(3) the objectives or ends of the 
educational enterprise, and (4) the 
processes or forms of education and 
their implication for its ends. 

In Part II, the author utilizes this 
same framework to present his own 




concepts and proposals. He sees the 
context of church education as the 
total experience of man in the whole 
world with its cultural and religious 
pluralism promoted by powerful so- 
cial, political, economic, and institu- 
tional forces. Therefore, church edu- 
cation must deal with man's need to 
discern and formulate the meaning of 
his existence. The direction or end is 
seen in the educated Christian — to 
enable him to understand and exer- 
cise his responsible freedom. There is 
recognition here that in terms of 
understanding, the question of life 
commitment in Christian faith is 
raised over and over; and the con- 
tribution of the educated Christian 
( in contrast to the inducted or indoc- 
trinated Christian) is seen in the 
Church and in the world : 

Only the person who has been enabled 
to reflect upon the meaning of his own 
existence in the context of the total 
world of his experience, including con- 
frontation by the whole stream of 
Christian life and witness, by God in 
Christ, only such a person can respon- 
sibly exercise a critical judgment about 
the visible church. The educated person 
becomes the church's own instrument 
of self-evaluation and renewal (p. 133). 

In the midst of searching out the 
relationships between theology and 
education, one very useful section 
isolates and defines many of the dif- 
ferent activities which are often de- 

scribed as education : learning, growth, 
nurture, induction, educing, indoc- 
trination, imparting, instruction, train- 
ing, and conditioning. The author 
sets forth parallel theological and 
educational functions for the Chris- 
tian teacher, and three parallel respon- 
sibilities for both the teacher and the 

In terms of the forms or processes 
appropriate for Christian education. 
Dr. Chamberlin points out that these 
must be designed to develop the 
capacity of the individuals in the 
group and take into account a sense 
of timing for the openness or sensi- 
tivity of the student. He is particular- 
ly concerned that more responsibility 
for Christian education be located 
with the local church, instead of so 
much dependence on denominational 
boards of education and independent 
curriculum publishers. In what he 
calls the "creative congregational ap- 
proach," the focus of attention is 
upon the teacher and his theological 
training, the teaching role or respon- 
sibility of the pastor is recovered, 
and an openness exists for fresh ex- 
perim.entation and new patterns of 
church education. 

This book is an important and 
timely contribution to the whole 
Church and deserves our attention. 

— D. H. Prytherch. 



Myers, Jacob M. 7 Chronicles. (Pp. XCIV + 241.) II Chronicles. (Pp. 
XXXVI + 269.) Ezra, Nehemiah. (Pp. LXXXIII + 269.) The Anchor 
Bible, Vols. 12, 13, 14. Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1965. $6.00 each. 

The author of these volumes is 
Professor of Old Testament at Lu- 
theran Theological Seminary in 
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and was 
Guest Professor of Old Testament at 
Pittsburgh Seminary during the Fall 
Semester, 1965. Reviewers of previ- 
ous volumes in this series have not 
been of unanimous opinion as to 
what, exactly, the Anchor Bible is. It 
claims to be, not a commentary, but 
a new translation with notes; and if 
this were an exact description of 
every one of the proposed thirty-eight 
volumes, one might question whether 
this massive project would be worth 
its expense. There can be no question, 
however, about calling Professor 
Myers' work a commentary, and one 
of the most thorough and scholarly 
commentaries now available on these 
books in any language. This is not a 
work for the non-specialist; it speaks 
to readers who do not want to skip 
over the genealogies or the duties of 
the Levites in order to get to more 
interesting things; and it assumes 
that those who read it do not have to 
have words such as "ashlar" defined 
for them. But for the specialist it is 
an impressive accomplishment. Myers' 
mastery of the literature on this 
period of history and of the com- 
plexities of the books themselves is 
evident throughout. The documenta- 

tion is thorough, especially for arche- 
ological works; and these will be- 
come very useful bibliographic aids 
because of that. The translation is in 
simple English, a bit more idiomatic 
than the RSV, though not what one 
could call paraphrastic. 

These commentaries might be 
called the culmination of the recent 
trend toward a greater respect for 
the Chronicler as a writer of history. 
Whereas R. H. Pfeiifer, in 1941, sug- 
gested the author had invented most 
of his unique "sources," W. A. L. 
Elmslie in The Interpreter's Bible 
(1954) was willing to admit the 
Chronicler's sources might contain 
some information of historical value, 
but little. In these volumes, however, 
Myers attempts to find a historical 
nucleus in nearly every passage (e.g., 
those ascribing extensive cultic legis- 
lation to David). Even the story of 
the routing of the Ammonites and 
Moabites by the singing of the tem- 
ple choir (II Chron. 20), which has 
been treated with scorn by other 
authors, is handled gently by Profes- 
sor Myers. And in Ezra 4, which 
clearly contains a passage which is 
chronologically out of place, Myers 
finds the editor inserting a later Ara- 
maic document because it illustrates 
the same kind of situation that the 
Judeans faced in the time of Zerub- 



babel, thus giving even to an anach- 
ronism some historical value. His 
willingness to consider seriously the 
authenticity of the Chronicler's 
sources is a welcome corrective to 
the tendency to dismiss them without 
a hearing, although it remains to be 
seen how many scholars will go as 
far as he does in this direction. 

Myers stresses that the Chronicler 
did not intend to write political his- 
tory, but a cultic history, using events 
of the past to provide explicit guid- 
ance for the religious affairs of the 
post-exilic period. He says the Chron- 
icler presents historical data in homi- 
letical fashion. This accounts for the 
omissions of much from the Deuter- 
onomic history, which was his major 
source; the addition of much new 
material (almost all of it pertaining 

I to the cult); and the disruptions of 

'chronological order which are ap- 
parent in Ezra-Nehemiah. He con- 
cludes that Ezra is to be dated later 
than Nehemiah, and leans toward the 

j thirty-seventh year of Artaxerxes I 
for his date, but stresses that we can 
have no certainty in this. He believes 
Josephus provides a more accurate 
picture of some of Nehemiah's activ- 
ities than the Chronicler; viz., that he 
did not arrive in Jerusalem until five 
years after 445; and that the wall 
took two years and four months to 

' rebuild. Ezra may have been respon- 
sible for the editing and introduction 
to Jerusalem of the Pentateuch in its 
present form, and he may also have 

written I and II Chronicles plus the 
Ezra memoirs. This also represents a 
change, from the agnosticism com- 
mon in recent evaluations of Ezra's 
work, toward an understanding of 
him near that held by ancient Juda- 

A few questions occur to the reader 
of these volumes. In a work where 
the documentation is so thorough and 
up to date, one is surprised to find 
anything missing, and wonders why 
the Megiddo stables are attributed 
to Solomon without reference to 
Yadin's opinion to the contrary 
(Biblical Archeologist, XXIII, I960, 
pp. 62-68). The author's style oc- 
casionally leads one astray, and a care- 
ful re-reading is necessary to grasp 
what he intends to say. The format 
of the series is attractive but perhaps 
wasteful. Each section has four parts: 
translation, footnotes to the transla- 
tion, "Notes," and "Comment." The 
intention may be to keep textual, 
philological, and historical material 
separate, but in practice this does not 
always work, and the same kind of 
material often appears in two parts 
of the same section. Sometimes the 
chapter-and-verse divisions of the 
English versions are followed (as in 
I Chron. 6), and sometimes those of 
the Hebrew Bible (as in Neh. 3 and 
4 ) . But these minor problems do not 
decrease the value of these volumes 
for the serious student who attempts 
to understand the work of the Chron- 
icler. — Donald E. Gowan. 



Dahood, Mitchell, S. J. Psalms I. 1-50. Tbe Anchor Bible. Vol. 16. Garden 
City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1966. Pp. XLVI + 329. $6.00. 

This latest contribution to the 
Anchor Bible should lay to rest once 
and for all the myth of "conservative" 
Catholic exegesis. The author's im- 
agination and ingenuity combine to 
present a work which is by far the 
most original in the series. The ad- 
vance notices are justified in terming 
the results "provocative" and "con- 
troversial." Fr. Dahood, who is Pro- 
fessor of Ugaritic Language and Lit- 
erature at Rome's Pontifical Biblical 
Institute, has used his up-to-the- 
minute knowledge of literary dis- 
coveries since 1929 at Ras Shamra 
(ancient Ugarit on the north Syrian 
coast, opposite Cyprus) to produce 
"not a commentary on the Psalms in 
the traditional sense of the word; a 
better term would perhaps be a pro- 
legomenon to a commentary" (p. 

Dahood's book, unlike any of its 
predecessors, is addressed to his fel- 
low scholars — often against them! — 
and not to laymen or average clergy- 
men, whom it will confuse more than 
edify. The author has given us a posi- 
tion paper which is designed to "set 
forth the relevance of the Ugaritic 
texts for Psalms' research" (p.XX), 
in as favorable a light as possible. 
Consequently he has omitted most of 
the topics usually treated in com- 
mentaries, such as literary classifica- 
tion, Sitz im Leben, form and struc- 

ture, etc. Moreover, his book is in- 
tended to be a direct challenge to the 
present canons of interpretation in at 
least three fields: (1) the increasing 
reverence even among liberal scholars 
for the Masoretic text, including the 
vowel points (pp. XXII ff); (2) the 
usefulness of the oldest translations 
as helpful guides for the recovery of 
the original text of the O. T. ("In 
the present study the ancient versions 
are cited infrequently, not because 
they have not been consulted, but be- 
cause they have relatively little to 
offer toward a better understanding 
of the difficult texts. ... A significant 
corollary of Ugaritic studies will be 
the devaluation of the ancient ver- 
sions" {p.XXIV}); and (3) the im- 
portance of the biblical and extra- 
biblical literature recovered since 
1947 from the caves by the shores of 
the Dead Sea. 

For all of these interests Dahood 
has only scorn. AU such approaches 
have been hopelessly outdated by 
"the Ras Shamra-Ugarit texts and 
other epigraphic discoveries made 
along the Phoenician littoral" (p. 
XV) which have necessitated a com- 
plete revision of lexicography (pp. 
XLI f; cf. Dahood's Proverbs and 
Northwest Semitic Philology, Rome, 
1963 ) and of grammar (pp. XXXVII- 

In all of this there is a danger, and 



not just the "considerable risk" of 
pressing the claims of a new disci- 
pline too far, which is acknowledged 
by Dahood on p. XX. At the counter- 
risk of being labelled antiquated and 
dismissed as irrelevant, one must ask 
whether Dahood is guilty of petitio 
principii in opening Hebraic locks 
with Ugaritic keys. It is necessary to 
remember that the Ugaritic material 
has been explained largely on the 
basis of our knowledge of biblical 
Hebrew, and hence it is not surpris- 
ing that Ugaritic words can suddenly 
be found to parallel O. T. phrases! 
Moreover, ancient Ugarit was de- 
stroyed in the 13th century B.C., and 
the epic texts which Dahood uses 
were probably composed at least by 
the 15th century. No direct depend- 
ence is thinkable; at most the He- 
brew psalmists can have been "av/are" 
of pan-semitic terminology and ideas 
inherited from a culture distant in 
time and space, as Morton Smith 
pointed out long ago ("The Com- 
mon Theology of the Ancient Near 
East," ]BL, vol. 71 (1952) pp. 135- 
147, esp. pp. 135f). 

A typical example of Dahood's 
circular reasoning is his long note 
(p. 10) on Ps.2:6a, which he trans- 
lates, "But I have been anointed his 
king" (RSV: "I have set my king"). 
First he revocalizes the verb to 
n^sukbti from MT ndsakti. Then he 
proposes that this new verb, suk, can 
mean "to anoint (as king)," while 
admitting that its normal biblical 

usage is only in connection with cos- 
metics. By this time we expect his 
proof from Ugaritic, yet the passage 
which serves as his example, Anat II: 
40-44, must first be re- interpreted in 
the light of the theory just proposed, 
i.e., that biblical suk must mean to 
anoint (as king)! If this were not 
sufficiently self-condemnatory, Da- 
hood helpfully quotes the rival and 
traditional translations of the Ugari- 
tic text given by H. L. Ginsberg in 
ANET p. 136c and by G. R. Driver 
in his Canaanite Myths and Lege'^ids, 
p. 89b, both of which are of course 
in conflict with his proposal. 

Perhaps even more frightening is 
his nonchalant identification of the 
pronominal suffix -y as third person 
( ! ) singular masculine or feminine, 
as in Ps. 2:6b (see the list of eighty 
such examples he has "recognized" in 
the Hebrew Bible, p. 11, and his dis- 
cussion, pp. XXI, XXIV). His sup- 
porting comment, "This suffix is also 
found in Ugaritic, though specialists 
have not recognized it," hardly awak- 
ens confidence in his conjecuire. One 
is forced to the conclusion that "evi- 
dence" will be "found" and accepted 
as "proof" for free conjectural emen- 
dations, precisely the sort of textual 
irresponsibility of the turn of the 
century which Dahood so deplores. 

Another problematic suggestion is 
his redivision of words to suit new 
ideas, a hermeneutical technique em- 
ployed by the rabbis hundreds of 
years before the discovery of the 



texts at Ras Shamra! A good example 
is his proposal for the difficult phrase 
at the beginning of Ps.2:12, MT 
nashsh^qu bar, which he reads nshe 
qaber, "men of the grave" = "mortal 
men." Aside from the facts that the 
ancient versions give no support for 
this reading (he discounts them to 
start with) and that the biblical ex- 
amples offered are not really parallels, 
he is forced to propose that nshe 
really can mean "men of," whereas \.t 
clearly means "women, wives of" 
throughout the Bible (e.g. Gen. 
4:23)! His support is only his pro- 
posed reading of Prov. 14:1 as "the 
wisest of men," a drastic suggestion 
which creates more problems than it 
solves (contrast RSV and R. B. Y. 
Scott's translation in his Anchor 
Bible, Vol. 18, "Wisdom builds her 

house [omitting nashim 

'women'}"). We are given no other 
biblical parallels, and not even a 
Ugaritic text! 

A final caveat will concern Da- 
hood's loose rendering of Hebrew 
pronouns. Traditionally, we are taught 
that b means "in" and min means 
"from," but on the basis of the Ugar- 
itic texts from the fourteenth century 
B.C. Dahood tells us that "^ very 
often denotes 'from'. ..." (p. 9, on 
Ps. 2:4). Maybe so; but as Msgr. 
Patrick Skehan has pointed out, 
Ugaritic has a history too; and the 
recently discovered tablets from the 
thirteenth century make use of the 
preposition min, as does biblical He- 

brew to which they are of course 
closer in time, and exhibit more of 
the grammatical features we are used 
to in the Bible. Therefore one must 
be cautious about treating the biblical 
pronouns as "wild cards" which can 
be translated in any fashion. 

It would be both unjust and un- 
gracious to close without at least a 
brief review of some of the attrac- 
tive features of this pioneering work, 
and we may begin with two gram- 
matical suggestions which will prob- 
ably commend themselves to future 
scholars. Dahood draws our attention 
to the "double-duty suffix," in which 
one pronominal suffix is made to 
serve two nouns in parallel (p. 
XXII), and to the "vocative lamedh" 
as distinct from the prepositional 
use of that letter. Again, we must 
thank Dahood for his frequently ex- 
tended notes on lexical problems, 
such as those on the distinction be- 
tween magen, "shield," and magan, 
"suzerain" (pp. I6ff, on Ps. 4:3), on 
tbb as "rain" (pp. 25f, on Ps. 4:7), 
on dd7nim as "idols" (pp. 3 If, on Ps. 
5:7), and many others (see the 
"Index of Hebrew Words" pp. 319- 
323 for a number of surprising ren- 
derings). Perhaps most influential of 
all will be his attempted recovery of 
Canaanite allusions, esecially to the 
realm of the dead (see pp. XXV, 
XXXVff, 106 on Ps. 18:8, and 111 
on 18:20), and of divine appellatives 
such as ^oldm (pp. 152f. on Ps. 24:6) 
and 'am as "the Strong One" (pp. 




112f, on Ps. 18:28). The theological 
importance of such suggestions for 
the biblical doctrines of God (mono- 
theism or what Union's J. A. Sanders 
calls "polemic syncretism"?) and of 
life after death makes it especially- 
regrettable that the exegetical COM- 
MENTS which matched the transla- 
tion and the philological NOTES on 
each section in Speiser's Genesis (see 
Perspective June, 1965, pp. 28f.), 
Bright's Jeremiah (Dec, 1965, pp. 
53ff), and Myers' / Chr., II Chr., 
Ezra-Neb. (see this issue) have been 
abandoned in the A?zcbor Bible's 
Psahns and Wisdom literature — 
Pope's Job (see June, 1965, pp. 29f ) 
and Scott's Prov-Eccl. (see Sep., 1965, 
pp. 46f) — since these Books are 
harder for the student to understand. 
Finally, of the many stimulating 
translations I choose one as repre- 
sentative of the new look in Psalms 

As a hind cries aloud for running 
so my soul cries aloud for you, O 
My soul thirsts for God, 

for the living God. 
Where shall I begin 

to drink in deeply the presence of 
My tears have been my food 

day and night. 
When it was being said to me 

all day long, 
"Where is, your God?" 
These things I shall remember, 

and shall pour out my soul before 

When I cross the barrier, 

and prostrate myself near the temple 
of God, 
Amid loud shouts of thanksgiving, 

amid a festal throng. 
Why are you so sad, O my soul? 
And why do you sigh before me? 
Wait for God, for I shall still praise 
my Savior, my Presence, and my God. 
{Ps. 42:2-6.) 

So much has been promised for 
vol. II (how will he fit double the 
number of Psalms, their NOTES, and 
all the introductory matters post- 
poned here {p. XLIII} into just one 
more volume?!) that a properly 
balanced judgment must await the 
completion of Dahood's venture. 
Meanwhile, it can be said flatly that 
this book will stimulate Psalms re- 
search as nothing has since the flower- 
ing of form-criticism. Not a few stu- 
dents will polish their Ugaritic, neg- 
lected since graduate school, in hopes 
of catching the crest of this new 
wave. The goal will not easily be at- 
tained, since Fr. Dahood's mastery of 
Ugaritic is matched by the ease with 
which he moves through the literature 
of contemporary biblical studies and 
is topped off by a skillful imagination. 
There is not a dull page in his book, 
but only time and further study will 
reveal whether he has indeed spoken 
what is true or merely sought to 
phrase something new. 

— Jared J. Jackson. 



Davies, W. D. The Setting of the Sermon on the Mount. Cambridge: Uni- 
versity Press, 1964. Pp. XVI + 547. $12.50. 

Here is a quiet, scholarly revolt. It 
is a revolt easily overlooked, how- 
ever, cloaked as it is by the breadth of 
learning and depth of insight which 
Professor Davies presents. 

Professor W. D. Davies is a New 
Testament scholar whose historical 
researches have distinguished him in 
the world of Biblical studies. In this 
book, his primary aim is again his- 
torical: to investigate and illumine 
the circumstances of the emergence 
and formulation of the Sermon on the 
Mount. At the same time, although 
his primary purpose is historical, the 
author recognizes that what he un- 
covers must necessarily bear theo- 
logical significance for Christian 
ethics. Here, where historical re- 
search meets modern theology, the 
quiet, scholarly revolt becomes clear. 
This book is Professor Davies' at- 
tempt to apply an historical correc- 
tive to what he sees as an excessive 
swing of the theological pendulum 
concerning the role of Law and laws 
for love. 

The chief value of the book is, as 
the author indicates, historical. Prin- 
cipally, Professor Davies asks, and 
answers, the question: "What are 
the religious-historical circumstances 
which produced the Sermon on the 
Mount?" We begin our review here 
with this question and turn, at the 
end, with the author, to assess the 

theological significance of this his- 
torical investigation. 

Chapter I, "Introductory," opens 
with the question of the unity and 
integrity of Matthew 5-7. Source 
criticism, form criticism, and litur- 
gical studies of the Gospel "cast 
doubt on the propriety of seeking to 
understand this section. Matt, v-vii, 
as an interrelated totality derived 
from the actual teaching of Jesus" 
(p. 5). Nonetheless, Professor Davies 
insists that the author of this Gospel, 
as an author and not a scissors-and- 
paste editor, utilized the traditions of 
sayings which he had received in 
order to construct for himself a pas- 
sage that he considered an essential 

Chapter II, "The Setting in Mat- 
thew," asks the question, "What is 
the place of the Sermon on the Mount 
in the over-all structure of Matthew.^" 
To answer this question, Davies in- 
vestigates the Pentateuchal motifs, 
the New Moses theme, and the New 
Exodus theme, often held to dominate 
the Matthean Gosp^^l. He concludes, 
however, that although such themes 
are implicit in the Sermon on the 
Mount, as elstwhere in Matthew, they 
"have been taken up into a deeper and 
higher context" (p. 93). The Sermon 
on the Mount ''is the 'law' of Jesus, 
the Messiah and Lord" (p. 108) for 
Matthew, but the author avoids the 



explicit identification of this Mes- 
sianic Law as the New Torah, the 
New Sinai. In substance it is, but the 
Gospel author hesitates to express it 
as such. These chapters, 5-7, include 
the highest expression of the Chris- 
tian life, which is a New Torah, and 
yet they include something more. 

In Chapter III, "The Setting in 
Jewish Messianic Expectation," Pro- 
fessor Davies continues the subject of 
Chapter II and seeks now to clarify 
Matthew's caution in avoiding ex- 
plicit mention of a New Torah. To 
do this, he turns to Judaism. Was a 
New Torah expected in Judaism in 
the Messianic Age.^ Jewish literary 
sources ofifer a varied, complex, and 
ambiguous picture. In some quarters 
it was held that the old Torah would 
continue even in the Messianic Age. 
Some hoped for a more satisfactory 
interpretation of the Old Torah then. 
Further, Jeremiah did not make clear 
whether his Nev/ Covenant involved 
a New Torah or merely the inter- 
nalizing of the Old. Generally the 
sources, including Rabbinic materials 
(in which area Davies is undoubted- 
ly a leading authority among New 
Testament scholars), "revealed the 
expectation that the Torah in its 
existing form would persist into the 
Messianic Age, when its obscurities 
would be made plain, and when there 
would be certain natural adaptations 
and changes" (p. 184) . Yet, for all of 
this, some recognition for the need to 
change does appear, especially in the 

Dead Sea Scrolls. In sum, the Jewish 
idea of the role of Torah in the Mes- 
sianic Age is ambiguous. 

As for Matthew, then, Davies con- 
cludes that this Gospel writer was 
conscious of already living in the 
Messianic Age. And, in substance, 
the Sermon on the Mount is a New 
Torah for Matthew. But, just as Ju- 
daism at this period is ambiguous 
about the role of Torah in the Mes- 
sianic Age, so is Matthew. The 
explicit identification of Jesus' teach- 
ing as a New Torah has not yet been 
made because Judaism has not yet 
made clear that it expected a New 
Torah in the Messianic Age. "The 
ambiguity of Jewish expectation has 
invaded the Evangelist's presentation 
of the Messianic era" (p. 190). 

Chapter IV, "The Setting in the 
Contemporary Judaism," presses fur- 
ther the investigation of Matthew's 
hesitancy in calling the Sermon on 
the Mount a New Torah. At the same 
time it delves more deeply into the 
circumstances underlying the formu- 
lation of the Sermon by posing the 
question: "Were there forces at work 
which would demand the elevation of 
the moral teaching of Jesus to its 
dominating position in the SM . . . .^ 
What occasioned or necessitated this 
concentrated and architectonic pres- 
entation of the sayings of Jesus. ^" 
(p. 191). The question is the Sitz im 
Leben of the passage for Matthew 
and for Jesus. Davies concludes (and 
here our summary, as elsewhere, is 



perhaps too simple to do Davies' 
work justice) that "the original Sitz 
im Leben of much of the SM in- 
volved the Essenes" (p. 255). His 
study of the Dead Sea Scrolls in rela- 
tion to Matthew 5-7 indicates for him 
that originally the utterances included 
here reflect Jesus' confrontation and 
disagreement with the Essene sect. 

But, on the contrary, "when Mat- 
thew constructed his 'Sermon' he 
utilized the tradition of the teaching 
for his own purposes — to set the 
Christian ethic not over against 
Qumran but over against Pharisaic 
Judaism" (p. 255). When Matthew 
wrote his Gospel, the influence of 
Pharisaic Judaism on Palestinian- 
Jewish life, as it began to emerge at 
Jamnia after A.D. 70, necessitated a 
Christian counter. As Davies puts it, 
"It is our suggestion that one fruit- 
ful way of dealing with the SM is to 
regard it as the Christian answer to 
Jamnia" (p. 315). Thus Matthew 
used materials originally involved in 
Jesus' confrontation with the radical 
sectarianism of the Essenes, and 
molded them to suit the Church's 
confrontation with Pharisaic Judaism. 

Chapter V, "The Setting in the 
Early Church," looks beyond the 
material surveyed to this point. What 
now is the setting in the early Church 
out of which this ethical formula- 
tion, the Sermon on the Mount, 
emerged.'^ Is Matthew's emphasis on 
the law of the Messiah an innovation 
in the Church? Has Matthew put his 

own Christian "legalism" upon Jesus.'* 
Or has he merely made "more explicit 
than did others what the Church in 
general accepted" (p. 316), because 
it had become necessary in the face 
of rising Jewish-rabbinic pressures? 

A common view holds Matthew to 
stand in opposition to Paul. But this, 
for Davies, ignores the profundity of 
Paul's ethic. Paul shares v/ith the 
early Church a concern for Christian 
conduct, but a concern which finds 
limited expression in his letters be- 
cause of the problems which Paul con- 
fronted through his correspondence. 
Paul and Matthew are fundamentally 
at one. Both, in this expression of 
faith and ethic, root in an understand- 
ing of Jesus and his teaching shared 
with the early Church. Both could 
see Christian life built upon some 
legal structures as a concomitant of 
grace. "To this extent Paul is at one 
with Matthew who also places the 
law of Christ in a context of the 
grace of Christ" (p. 365). Paul 
"would probably not have found the 
Matthean emphasis on the law of 
Christ' either strange or uncongenial" 
(p. 366). 

In turning to see Matthew in the 
light of the rest of the New Testa- 
ment (specifically Q, M, James, and 
the Johannine sources — Gospel and 
Epistles), Davies observes an his- 
torical development in Christian 
ethics. What begins in Q as a radical 
and absolute ethic born of the proc- 
lamation of the crisis of the coming 


of the Kingdom gives way to a less 
radical and more regulatory ethic in 
M. "The ethic of crisis had to be 
adapted to the humdrum affairs of 
life" (p. 387) when the crisis did 
not issue immediately in a new heav- 
en and a new earth. The radicalism is 
softened to regulatory directions for 
life — some probably from Jesus. 

With James and the Johannine 
sources, early Church ethics takes a 
new direction: the "subsuming of 
[the] ethical teaching of Jesus under 
one all-embracing norm or principle" 
(p. 401) — the great love coinmand- 
inent. Here the laws are subsumed 
under one law. This movement is not 
wholly unknown in the earlier Mat- 
thean Gospel. 

In sum, Davies concludes that 
Matthew's presentation of the teach- 
ing of Jesus as the Law of the Mes- 
siah more naturally emerged from 
the confrontation of the Church with 
Judaism than from some other cause. 
And yet, the Gospel was always 
presented with its ethical demand, so 
that even among Gentile Churches, 
Jesus' teaching presented as a New 
Law would be understandable. Above 
all, it must be clear, in this investiga- 
tion of the Sermon in the light of the 
whole New Testament, that no rigid 
separation of Grace and Law is pos- 

Chapter VI, "The Setting in the 
Ministry of Jesus," opens with the 
statement, "As we have seen in the 
preceding pages, Matthew drew 

around the figure of Jesus the mantle 
of a lawgiver" (p. 415). And this 
view of Jesus was not unique in the 
early Church. But, in the next stage 
of his argument, Davies asks whether 
this view accurately represents the 
"Jesus of history." He here assumes 
the possibility of contact with the 
historical Jesus; the sayings attributed 
to Jesus should not be counted as 
wholesale creations of the primitive 
communities, but rather the genuine 
tradition which has, however, been 
modified by the Church for its own 
purposes. The root of the tradition 
rests with Jesus although the original 
form may now be obscure. 

But shall we see Jesus as a law- 
giver then? Yes. Because the Jewish 
eschatological hope always included 
the ethical: the Law. Thus Jesus, "as 
the eschatological figure . . . was 
necessarily a teacher of morality" 
(p. 425 ) . But in a new way: "Where- 
as for Judaism the Law expressed the 
will of God, for Jesus his immediate 
awareness of the will of God became 
'Law'" (p. 432). Matthew has, in 
one sense, then, accurately represented 
the mind of Jesus. In another sense, 
however, it must be clear that his 
gathering together the words of Jesus 
and concentrating and unifying them 
in one section make it all too possible 
"to separate the moral demand of 
Jesus from its total setting" (p. 433). 
Jesus was a lawgiver simply because 
his eschatological message required it 
— and a lawgiver on perhaps two 



levels: (1) a radical demand for the 
uncommitted and ( 2 ) regulatory rul- 
ings for the committed. But Jesus 
never issued laws apart from his 
eschatological message of grace. The 
Sermon on the Mount must be 
viewed in this light. Here is the 
kerygma in concrete form. 

Chapter VII, "Conclusion," spells 
out briefly the theological implica- 
tions of the author's historical re- 
search. Davies' intent here is at least 
to raise "the question whether his- 
tory can sometimes be called in to 
redress the balance of theology" (p. 

Theologically, this discussion of the 
Sermon on the Mount could not but 
raise the ghost of the old problem of 
the relation of Gospel and Law. 
Modern trends in theology refuse any 
"laws" within the framework of 
Christian ethics. But Davies deliber- 
ately challenges Tillich and Bult- 
mann and E. Schweizer for their sep- 
aration of Jesus-the-Word from Jesus' 
words, and for their attempt to absorb 
the words in the Word and thus de- 
prive the words of positive signifi- 
cance. Their rejection of any legalism 
within Christian ethics hardly does 
full justice to Jesus and the New 
Testament. Let it be clear, Davies in- 
tends no rigid legalism or casuistry 
as a result of his historical study; but 
he does intend to raise anew the ques- 
tion for modern Christian ethics of 
the role of Law to Gospel. His his- 
torical research suggests that the 

pendulum of modern theology has 
swung too far from its New Testa- 
ment origin. 

Here is a scholar's revolt, a scholar's 
attempt to apply an historical correc- 
tive to a modern theological trend 
(a trend which, we might add, can 
be seen also in Brunner and in John 
A. T. Robinson's recent work). For 
Davies, the Christian life expressed in 
the New Testament has some con- 
crete footing in the regulatory rulings 
of Jesus and in the pattern of Jesus' 
life. Modern theological attempts to 
see this legal tradition as relative to 
its day or as an example or as a type, 
but not absolute rules for conduct, fail 
to see the original significance of the 
ethical teaching of the New Testa- 
ment in its original setting. 

Professor Davies' work will long 
be a resource for study of the Sermon 
on the Mount. It contains a wealth of 
material, especially from Jewish 
sources, which is pertinent to the 
understanding of this important Mat- 
thean passage. Inevitably, various 
parts of Davies' argument will not 
convince all. But none will fail to 
recognize here a great scholarly work 
whose explicit aim as an historical 
contribution to New Testament re- 
search has been amply fulfilled. 

Whether Davies also raises the 
theological debate at which his book 
implicitly aims will depend upon the 
acceptance of his underlying assump- 
tions : ( 1 ) What authority has the 
Bible for practical Christian ethics in 



our modern world, especially if 
Davies' interpretation of the relation 
of Law and Gospel in the New Testa- 
ment be accepted? (2) Is the distinc- 
tion in Biblical theology between 
"what it meant" and "what it means" 
possible? Can we have a "descriptive 
Biblical theology" apart from our 
modern "subjective" interpretation? 
(3) How shall we approach the 
quest of the historical Jesus? Is con- 
tact with the historical figure through 
the tradition preserved by the ancient 
Church possible? Davies clearly as- 
sumes that contact with the histor- 

ical Jesus is possible, although he 
does not easily dismiss the dangers 
here. Clearly, he also assumes the pos- 
sibility of a descriptive Biblical the- 
ology. And clearly, he views the Bible 
in such a position of authority within 
Christendom that therefore an ac- 
curate description of its theology 
should and does speak to the present 
Christian community. Thus a single 
question remains: "Will modern 
theologians take seriously the impli- 
cations of historical research?" 

— Dale Russell Bowne, 
Grove City College. 

Trever, John C. The Untold Story of Oumran. (Illustrated.) Westwood, N. J.: 
Revell, 1965. Pp. 214 + color plates. $8.95. 

The dust jacket proclaims that this 
book relates "the adventure and in- 
trigue which followed the discovery 
of the most valuable archaeological 
documents of our time, by the first 
American to see, examine, and photo- 
graph the Dead Sea Scrolls." Here- 
by one is alerted to the forensic 
character of parts of this book. The 
author is at pains to try to establish 
the record implicit in various aspects 
of the jacket statement. 

Dr. Trever explains in meticulous 
detail how he happended to be "the 
first American, etc." He supplements 
his own notes and records with as 

much documentation as he can col- 
lect; and this thus — probably 
— the nearest thing to a definitive 
chronicle that we shall have for the 
events connected with the famous 
scrolls. Though there are surely per- 
sons who would dispute some details 
of this book, it seems unlikely that 
anyone else will take such pains to 
recount the story in such a synoptic 

But this frank appraisal should not 
deter anyone from reading the vol- 
ume. There have been more than 
enough romantic, ill-informed re- 
ports of the almost legendary story. 



Dr. Trever has a remarkably clear 
memory of the events in which he 
figured so centrally; and if he, too, 
occasionally waxes dramatic or his- 
trionic, he must be forgiven. Cer- 
tainly in this case the old saw applies, 
that truth is stranger than fiction. 

The story, for the most part, moves 
well. Not everyone will care to follow 
the notes, nor is it necessary for fol- 
lov/ing the narrative itself. Those who 
have visited Jerusalem and the Amer- 
ican School of Oriental Research 
there will delight in the vivid word- 
pictures the author produces; and the 
events portrayed — not only in con- 
nection with the scrolls but also in 
the partition struggles — were exciting 
in the extreme. 

Dr. Trever is an able photographer, 
and he will be readily pardoned for 

dwelling on the copying of the scrolls. 
He is an expert on the flora of Pales- 
tine — a fact which precipitated him 
into these adventures — and this 
doubtless made him extra sensitive to 
the pictorial fascination of the events 
among which he moved. The black- 
and-white illustrations and particular- 
ly the color plates are a valuable 
asset to the book. 

Two faults are perhaps not so 
readily forgiven. One is the occasion- 
al lapse into the melodramatic under 
the guise of pious meditation. The 
other is an unnecessarily large num- 
ber of typographical mistakes (e.g., 
on page 101, an entire line must be 
missing). But the book is neverthe- 
less well worth-while for information 
and for reading enjoyment. 

— /. A. Walther. 

Haroutunian, Joseph. God With Us. A Theology of Transpersonal Life. Phila- 
delphia: Westminster Press, 1965. Pp. 318. $6.00. 

A book by Professor Haroutunian 
is always an event worth noting. He 
always deals with big issues, impor- 
tant issues, timely issues. Yet he deals 
with them in a way that is distinc- 
tively his own. This makes him some- 
what difiicult to follow, but never 
dull. His freedom from doctrinaire 
cant and his passionate, humane in- 
telligence, come as a welcome relief 
from the obscurantism of popular 

theological literature as well as the 
abstract analyses of more technical 
theological works. 

In this book he introduces his 
readers to the world of what he calls 
"transpersonal life." This is his way 
of talking about the world that is 
composed of happenings between 
man and fellowman. It is a world in 
which absolutely nothing exists "by 
itself," and interactions between 



beings are not non-essential. Har- 
outunian's world, then, stands in 
sharpest contrast to that world of 
thought which deals in "human na- 
ture" and self-subsistent individuals, 
whose basic capacities do not derive 
from nor are oriented to "transaction" 
or "communion" with a fellowman. 
He succeeds in shocking us into an 
awareness of how much of our think- 
ing is governed by individualistic 
premises even when we admit that 
man is a social animal and is depend- 
ent upon society in many ways. At 
the same time, Haroutunian makes 
us aware of dimensions of our hu- 
manity that are often ignored or 
pushed aside by the predominating 
functional identities we give our- 
selves in our super-organized society. 
Other books have made similar 
points, of course. But Haroutunian 
has done something I have not found 
in other books that stress these 
themes. He has carefully thought out 
and reconstructed in his "trans- 
personal" language, the meaning of 
grace, freedom, love, forgiveness, the 
communion of saints, preaching and 
hearing the Gospel, the Holy Spirit, 
the knowledge of God, and many 
other theological themes. The whole 
ordo salutis of traditional theology, 
the process whereby sin was supposed 
to decrease and righteousness increase 
in individual believers, is set aside. In 
its place, we gQX. a conception of God 
bringing men into communion with 
himself through the forgiveness he 

offers in Jesus Christ, and who is 
present in the world in the forgive- 
ness which sinners are able to give 
each other through the forgiveness 
they mutually receive from God 
through Jesus. 

Ministers will have some anxious 
thoughts about the unreality of a 
forgiveness that is pronounced to a 
gathering of individuals on Sunday 
morning, in contrast to the forgive- 
ness which produces the communion 
of saints. They will have many second 
and third thoughts about the thing 
called "love" which informs their 
counseling, group work, and ethical 
positions. They will learn something 
about what k takes to g&t men to be 
free to love, and to take notice of, 
respect, do justice to, and even be 
grateful for their amazingly different 
fellowmen. They will learn that grace 
is not a miraculous entity operating 
inside individuals (Where? How?), 
but the reality of God's forgiveness 
of sinners in Jesus Christ which 
communicates itself as forgiven sin- 
ners dare to forgive each other. If 
they are especially perceptive, they 
will find that while others have been 
decrying the death of God "out 
there," Haroutunian has been think- 
ing through the nature of the 
presence of the God of the Gospel 
(who is not to be understood as the 
Absolute or First Cause of theistic 
metaphysics) in the mode of the 
unique social process designated by 
the term "communion of saints." 



Those who have been wondering 
"Where do we go from here?" now 
that initial sensation of the Honest 
to God debate has worn off, should 
certainly give careful consideration to 
this volume. 

These summary remarks cannot 
come close to presenting the richness 
of Professor Haroutunian's thought. 
They are meant only to indicate that 

this is a book of great relevance and 
helpfulness in understanding what 
the Gospel, the Church, and the 
Christian life are all about. I can 
think of no book I w^ould rather see 
pastors take with them on their vaca- 
tions to ponder at length before 
plunging into the whirlpool of Fall 
programs once again. 

Schilling, S. P. Contemporary Continental Theologians. Nashville: Abingdon 
Press, 1966. Pp. 288. $5.00. 

There seems to be no end to books 
of this kind although by now It ought 
to be evident that what we need are 
more good monographs. Professor 
Schilling has done us some useful 
service, however, by providing a 
more comprehensive introduction to 
important continental theologians 
than has previously appeared in Eng- 
lish. He has attem.pted to select theo- 
logians from various countries in 
Western Europe who represent im- 
portant schools of thought and/or 
one of the major divisions of Chris- 
tianity. Accordingly, he discusses the 
thought of Karl Barth, Hermann 
Diem, and Joseph L. Hromadka 
( "Theologies of the Word of God" ) ; 
Rudolph Bultmann, Friedrich Gogar- 
ten, and Gerhard Ebeling ("Theolo- 
gies of Existence" ) ; Edmund Schlink 
and Gustaf Wingren ( "Neo-Lutheran 

Theologies"); Yves M.-J. Congar 
and Karl Rahner ("Roman Cath- 
olic Theology"); and Nikos Nis- 
siotis ("Eastern Orthodox The- 
ology"). Considering the difficulties 
of obtaining a representative selec- 
tion from among the many possible 
alternatives to some of the lesser 
figures chosen, Professor Schilling has 
done well. We would like to have 
seen something like "Neo-Reformed 
Theologies" included, however. It is 
extremely m.isleading to suggest, as 
the author does in the preface, that 
continental Reformed theologians are 
either "Barthians" or conservative 
Calvinists like Berkouwer. 

Professor Schilling based his study 
almost entirely on first-hand research 
in the writings of these men, sup- 
plemented by personal conversations 
with them during his sabbatical leave 



from Boston University (1959-60). 
While he has admirably mastered 
what he calls the "major doctrinal 
emphases" of these men, he does not 
probe deeply into any of the very 
complex issues that crop out on every 
page. Nor does he take account of the 
critical discussions that have gone on 
and are going on between these theo- 
logians and the schools of thought 
they represent. This is especially true 
of his treatment of the controversies 
on Law and Gospel, Church and So- 
ciety, Scripture and Tradition, and, to 
a lesser extent, the "new quest" for 
the historical Jesus. His evaluative 
comments on these matters, which 
are of very limited usefulness any- 
how because of their simplistic plus 
( "values" ) and minus ( "difficulties" ) 
form, do little more than confirm the 

prejudices of a rather conservative, 
Protestant moralist who wants to 
have the personality and ethics of 
Jesus to fall back on. In fairness to 
the author, however, it must be said 
that he has made a very serious effort 
to understand these Europeans, and 
in his expositions of their thought 
succeeds very well in maintaining 

Readers who v/ant a good "first" 
book on the subject will certainly 
benefit from this one. The many for 
whom names like Schlink or Rahner 
are little more than names will also 
profit from this book. Those who are 
struggling with the issues these men 
are grappling with and are looking 
for some penetrating insight into 
them will have to look elsewhere. 

— George H. Kehm. 

Proudfoot, Merrill. Suffers 
minster, 1964. $5.00. 

^: a Christian Understanding. Philadelphia: West- 

In at least two ways Merrill Proud- 
foot has written a different book on 
suffering. It is a biblical perspective, 
or more especially, a Pauline view- 
point; and, having focused on Paul's 
thought, the author moves to a com- 
parison of several other perspectives 
with that of Paul. 

Proudfoot finds a correlation be- 
tween sufi^ering and comfort and the 
death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Comfort is traced biblically to mean 
not a bare feeling but a fact of salva- 
tion, salvation by the act of God. The 
sufl^erings of Paul were his in the 
body of Christ, "a way by which 
Christ's death was working in him" 
(p. 21). The sufferings represent the 
death of Jesus, as the comfort is the 
sharing in his resurrection. Every 
Christian is involved in suffering and 
comfort so correlated with Christ's 



death and resurrection because such 
is the nature of the one body we are 
of which Christ is the head. Paul's 
own suffering — and that of every 
Christian — is illustrative of the gos- 
pel: death but salvation (comfort). 
The author is not so convincing when 
he suggests that the sufferer receives 
encouragement in the "sympathy" of 
creation, though the help of the Spirit 
needs no argument. 

The larger part of the book is a se- 
ries of comparisons: Paul and Positive 
Thinking, Paul and the Punishment 
Theory, Paul and Asceticism, among 
others. These comparisons are not 
once-over-lightly. For example, in the 

comparison between Paul and Exis- 
tentialism Jean-Paul Sartre has fif- 
teen pages dealt to him in his under- 
standing of suffering in his plays, 
novels, and Being and Nothingness, 
suffering that is utterly lonely and 
yet the necessary path to authentic 
selfhood in freedom. Proudfoot writes 
sympathetically from within the view- 
point he is evaluating although his 
own stance is obviously beside Paul. 
This book would be an excellent 
study series for any church. An elec- 
tive on suffering during the church 
school hour might bring comfort to 
some painful situations! 

— Gordon E. Jackson. 

Raines, Robert. Creative Brooding. New York: Macmillan, 1966. $2.95. 

This book says nothing about rais- 
ing chickens — it says a great deal 
about relating devotional life to the 
"Secular City." Let me hasten to say 
that this is not a typical "devotional 
book" of pious prayers and archaic 
moralisms. It is sub-titled: "Readings 
for 34 days to sharpen thought and 
provoke reflection," and this it ac- 
complishes with ease. Each day's read- 
ing begins with a pungent quote 
from a wide selection of individuals: 
playwrights like Herb Gardner, au- 

thors and journalists ranging from 
James Baldwin and Albert Camus to 
Petru Dumitriu and Moss Hart, an- 
thropologist Loren Eiseley, theologian 
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and housewife 
Myrlie Evers. Carefully selected scrip- 
ture and a brief contemporary prayer 
make up the balance of the daily fare. 
The little book is too rich to just read 
through, although this is very tempt- 
ing. It is a marvelous antidote for 
the "spiritually jaded." 

—William R. Pbillippe. 



Deissmann, A. Light from the Ancient East. Limited Editions Library. Grand 
Rapids: Baker, 1965. Pp. XXXII + 535. $7.95. 

Light from the Ancient East first 
appeared in 1908. Following the first 
edition several German revisions 
were made by the author. An Eng- 
lish translation was prepared in 1927. 
Much of the material which had been 
uncovered in the discovery of monu- 
ments, papyri, and ostraca in the 
Middle East was thus made available 
to the public. The Greek of the New 
Testament and the thinking, customs, 
and life of New Testament times 
were illuminated. 

Baker Book House has now pre- 
sented a reprint edition of Light 
from the Ancient East which makes 
available, once again, the wealth of 
documentary material contained in 
the volume. While Deissmann was 
concerned with destroying the myth 
of "Biblical Greek" by presenting the 
fact that the Greek of the New Testa- 
ment was really the Greek of the 
common people, the material in this 
volume will provide the reader with 
graphic word studies which can be- 
come valuable aids to interpretation. 

Schwantes, S. J. 7 he Ancient Near East. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1965. Pp. 191. 

This book received the award in 
the Baker Book House 25th Anni- 
versary Manuscript Contest. It pre- 
sents a short history of the Ancient 
Near East, supported by the rapidly 
increasing body of archeological in- 
formation available in this decade. 

Beginning with early Mesopo- 
tamia, consideration is given to the 
rising and falling empires down to 
the appearance of the Israelites. In 
addition to the familiar Egyptian, 

Babylonian, Assyrian, and Persian 
empires, the volume introduces the 
reader to the Akkadian empire, the 
Amarites, the Hittites, the Aramaeans, 
and others whose history has been 
intertwined with that of more famil- 
iar peoples in the Fertile Crescent. 

The author is a Brazilian citizen 
who, as a graduate of Johns Hopkins 
in the field of Semitics, is qualified to 
handle the material presented. 

— Hotvard M. Ja^nieson. 



Gingrich, F. W. Shorter Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Chicago; 
University of Chicago Press, 1965. Pp. 241. $4.50. 

This is an abridgement of the 
Arndt and Gingrich A Greek-English 
Lexicon of the New Testament and 
Other Early Christian Literature, 
which was translated and edited from 
Bauer's standard German Worter- 
huch. The extra-biblical entries have 
been dropped as well as the literature 

references, but an adequate listing of 
meanings is given along with many 
NT references. While this book is no 
substitute for the larger work, it will 
probably prove to be the best avail- 
able aid for the purposes to which a 
volume of this scope is directed. 

Westminster Study Bible. Revised Standard Version. New York: Collins, 
1965. Pp. XXVI + 1283; X + 434; Plates XVI; Index. $8.95 & $12.50. 

When the Westminster Study 
Bible appeared in 1948, it was ac- 
cepted promptly as a useful tool, 
particularly for lay students and 
teachers in the church. Its publication 
antedated the OT portion of the RSV, 
and the KJV was used as the text. 

Now we are fortunate that a new 
edition of this volume has been issued 
with the RSV text. The necessary 

changes have been made in the notes, 
and the edition includes the latest 
corrections and changes in the RSV 

The articles and notes were largely 
the work of Presbyterians; and Dr. 
Paul Leo, formerly a teacher at this 
seminary, made a substantial con- 

Hunter, A. M. A Pattern for Life. (Revised Edition, paperback.) Philadel- 
phia: Westminster, 1965. Pp. 127. $1.65. 

"An exposition of the Sermon on 
the Mount, its making, its exegesis 
and its meaning." This small book 
first appeared in Britain in 1953 
under the title Design for Life. With 
remarkable candor. Professor Hunter 
admits that he has revised his work 

in the light of writings of Jeremias, 
Davies, and Bonhoeffer. And the 
proliferation of his authorship seems 
not to dilute the substance of his 
scholarship nor to diminish the ap- 
peal of his contributions. 


Books Received 

Buswell, J. O., III. Slavery, Segregation, and Scripture. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 

1964. Pp. 101. $2.50. 

The Chime Paperbacks are an excellent series of important monographs and essays 

attractively published at $1.00 each by the John Knox Press, Richmond, Va. 

We note the following: 

Barth, K. Selected Prayers. 1965.. Pp. 72. 

Bonhoeifer, D. I Loved This People. 1965. Pp. 62. 

Mehl, R. Images of Man. Translated by James H. Farley (Pittsburgh Theological 
Seminary, '62). 1965. Pp. GA. 

Schweizer, E. The Church as the Body of Christ. 1964. Pp. 78. 

Scott, N. A. Jr., ed. Forms of Extremity in the Modern Novel. Franz Kafka, 
Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, Graham Greene. 1965. Pp. 96. 

Scott, N. A., Jr., ed. Four Ways of Modern Poetry. Wallace Stevens, Robert 
Frost, Dylan Thomas, W. H. Auden. 1966. Pp. 95. 

Scott, N. A., Jr., ed. Man in the Modern Theater. T. S. Eliot, Eugene O'Neill, 
Bertolt Brecht, Samuel Beckett. 1965. Pp. 100. 

Tournier, P., ed. Fatigue in Modern Society. Psychological, Medical, Biblical 
Insights. Translated by James H. Farley. 1965. Pp. 79. 
Daane, J. The Anatomy of Anti-Semitism and Other Essays on Religion and Race. 

Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965. Pp. 84. $1.45 (paper). 
Davies, J. G. A Select Liturgical Lexicon. Ecumenical Studies in Worship, No. 14. 

Richmond: John Knox, 1965. Pp. 146. $2.45 (paperback). 
DeHaan, M. R., and Bosch, H. C. Bread for Each Day. 365 Devotional Ivleditations. 

Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962. $3.00. 
Edman, V. R. But God! . . ., with Poems by Annie Johnson Flint. Grand Rapids: 

Zondervan, 1962. Pp. 152, illustrated. $2.50. 
Enlow, D. R. Men Aflame. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962. Pp. 120. $2.50. 
Forsyth, P. T. The Cruciality of the Cross and The Soul of Prayer. Grand Rapids: 

Eerdmans, 1965. Pp. 104 and 92. $1.45 each (paperback). Reprints of the 1909 

and 1916 editions respectively. 
Foster, J. Five Minutes a Saint. Richmond: John Knox, 1963. Pp. 112. $1.25 (paper). 
Froom, L. E. The Conditionalist Faith of Our Fathers. The Conflict of the Ages Over 

the Nature and Destiny of Man. Volume II. Washington, D. C: Review and 

Herald, 1965. Pp. 1344, illustrated. 
Hamilton, F. E. The Basis of Christian Faith. A Modern Defense of the Christian 

Religion. Revised and Enlarged edition. New York: Harper & Row, 1964. Pp. 

XV + 364. $2.50. 
Haskin, D. C. hi Spite of Dungeon. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962. Pp. 150. $2.50. 
Hodgson, L. Christian Faith and Practice. American edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 

1965. Pp. xii+113. $2.50. 

Isherwood, M. Faith Without Dogma: In Quest of Meaning. New York Harper & 

Row, 1964. Pp. 126. $3.00. 
Laubach, Frank C. War of Amazing Love. Westwood, N. J.: Revell, 1965. Pp. 150. 

Lewis C. S., ed. Essays Presented to Charles Williams. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans: 

1966. Pp. XV + 145. $2.45. Paperback reprint of a worthy 1947 volume. 

Lewis, C. S., The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 
1965. Pp. GG. $1.00. Paperback edition of 1949 Macmillan title. 



Limbert, Paul M. New Perspectives for the YMCA. New York: Association Press, 

1964. Pp. 255. 13.50 (paper). 
MacLennan, David A. Revell's Minister Annual 1966. Westwood, N. J.: Revell, 1965. 

Pp. 363. $3.95. Cf. VI.l (March, 1963), 39, where the 1963 Annual was re- 
viewed. Children's talks and various dedicatory materials have been added. 
MacLeod, E. H. Prayers for Everyone to Meet Every Need. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 

1962. Pp. 84. $1.95. 
Marshall, C. A Man Called Peter. Greenwich, Conn.: Crest Book, 1964. Pp. 351. 750. 

Paperback reprint of 1951 McGraw-Hill edition. 
Overduin, J. Adventures of a Deserter. The Story of Jonah. Translated from Dutch 

edition by H. Van Dyke. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965. Pp. 153. $3.50. 
Perry, L. M. A Manual for Biblical Preaching. Grand Rapids. Baker, 1965. Pp. 

215 +-$4.95. 
Powell, Ivor. John's Wonderful Gospel. A Comprehensive Exposition. Grand Rapids: 

Zondervan, 1962. Pp. AA6. $6.95. 
Price, Eugenia. A Woman's Choice. Living Through Your Problems. Grand Rapids: 

Zondervan, 1962. Pp. 182. $2.50. 
Samartha, S. J, Introduction to Radhakrishnan. The Man and His Thought. (A Sem- 
inary Paperback.) New York: Association Press, 1964. Pp. 128. $2.25. 
The Scripture Sourcebook. . . ., with an Introduction on "How to Study the Bible" 

by D. L. Moody. (Republication of The Bible Text-Book.) Grand Rapids: Zon- 
dervan, 1962. Pp. 221. $2.50. 
Shideler, M. M. The Theology of Romantic Love: A Study in the Writings of Charles 

Williams. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966. Pp. xii -f 243. $2.45 (paperback ed.; 

original, 1962) . 
Stalker, J. M. The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ. A Devotional History of Our 

Lord's Passion. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1961. Pp. 185. $2.50. Originally 

published in 1894. 
Stott, John R. W. Basic Introduction to the Neiv Testament. Grand Rapids : Eerdmans, 

1964. Pp. 179. $1.25 (paperback). Reprint of Men With a Message; London: 

Stringfellow, "W. My People Is the Enemy: An Autobiographical Polemic. (Anchor 

Books edition of 1964 Holt, Rinehart and Winston edition; New York: 1964. 

Pp. ix+150. $3.95.) Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1966. Pp. 151. 950 

Thiessen, J. C. Pastoring the Smaller Church. A Complete and Comprehensive Guide- 
book for Pastors. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962. Pp. 168. $2.95. 
Turnbull, Ralph G. A Minister's Obstacles. (Revision of 1946 edition.) Westwood, 

N. J.: Revell, 1964. Pp. 192. $2.95. By the pastor of the First Presbyterian 

Church, Seattle, Washington; formerly a teacher at this Seminary. 
Von Campenhausen, H. Men Who Shaped the Western Church. New York: Harper 

& Row, 1964. Pp. 328. $5.95. Cf. Perspective, VI.4 (December, 1965), p. 37, 

for Professor Ritschl's comment. 
Vos, Nelvin. The Drama of Comedy: Victim and Victor. Richmond: John Knox, 1966. 

Pp. 125. $1.95 (paperback). 
Wallace, R. S. The Ten Commandments. A Study of Ethical Freedom. Grand Rapids: 

Eerdmans, 1965. Pp. xiv + 181. $3.95. 
Ward, R. A. The Epistles of John and Jude. A study Manual. Shield Bible Study 

Series. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1965. Pp. 102. $1.50 (paperback). 
Warfield, B. B. Miracles: Yesterday and Today, A reissue of Conterfeit Miracles 

(1918). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965. Pp. 327. $2.25 (paper). By a famous 

defender of the Faith, once a teacher at this Seminary. 


Wells, A. N. Pascal's Recovery of Man's Wholeness. Richmond: John Knox 1965 
Pp. 174. $4.25. 

White, R. E. O. Open Letter to Evangelicals. A Devotional and Homiletical Commen- 
tary on The First Epistle of John. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964. Pp. 276. 

World Christian Books, a paperback series. New York: Association Press. $1.25 each. 

49. Hanson, R. P. C. Justin Martyr's Dialogue tvith Trypho. 1964. Pp. 88. 

50. Neill, S. Paul to the Colossians. 1964. Pp. 76. 

51. Carleton, A. P. Pastoral Epistles. 1964. Pp. 77. 

52. Kraft, H. Early Christian Thinkers. 1964. 

53. Estborn, S. Gripped by Christ. 1964. Pp. 80. 

54. Soggin, A. When the Judges Ruled. 1965. Pp. 80. 


In the last issue (March, 1966) of Perspective there were several errors 
in the text of two articles. In Dr. Ritschl's article, on page 14, second column, 
second line of the new paragraph, the first printing contained the typo- 
graphical error technological for the proper reading theological. 

In Mr. Kehm's article the following require correction: p. 34, col. 1, 
next-to-last line, read "obedience but rather as a means . . . "; p. 35, col. 2, 
line 7, read "to bring them to repentance"; and p. 36, col. 1, six lines from 
bottom, read " ( X/,2 ) " instead of " ( 1,2 ) ." 

The Editor regrets these errors and appreciates the generosity of the 
authors in this regard. 



Volume VII 

September, 1966 

Number 3 


Volume VII September, 1966 Number 3 

Published four times yearly in March, June, September and December, by 
the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 North Highland Avenue, Pitts- 
burgh, Pa. 15206, one of the seven seminaries of the United Presbyterian 
Church in the U. S. A. Second-class postage paid at Pittsburgh, Pa. Changes 
of address should be sent to the Seminary, care of the Director of the Mail- 
ing Department. 

Editor: James Arthur Walther, Th.D. 

Publications Committees 
Faculty Student 

Lynn B. Hinds, Chmn. Robert H. McClure, Jr. 

J. A. Walther 

J. Rowe Hinsey, ex. off. 

William R. Atkins, ex. off. 

William R. Phillippe, ex. off. 

Circulation: William Hill 

Secretarial Assistant: Mrs. Elizabeth Eakin 


Ad Hoc 2 

From the President's Desk 3 

The History and Literature of "the New Morality" 4 

by Edward LeRoy Long, Jr. 

Human Values and Social Change 18 

by Joseph Haroutunian 

Book Reviews and Notes 

Piety: Found and Lost 25 

Farley, Requiem for a Lost Piety 
Dennis E. Shoemaker 

Second Schaff Lecturer 30 

Ricoeur, History and Truth 
Gordon E. Jackson 

Leitch, Whzds of Doctrine 36 

John M. Bald 

Longenecker, Paul: Apostle of Liberty 37 

Howard Eshbaugh 

Baker, What is the World Coming To? 38 

Motyer, After Death — A Sure and Certain Hope? 40 

J. A. Walther 

Nicholls, Conflicting Images of Man 41 

Ogletree, Christian Faith and History 42 

George H, Kehm 

Barth, The German Church Conflict 43 

Iain Wilson 

Stegenga, Greek-English Analytical Concordance of the 

Greek-English N. T 46 

Rolston, The Bible in Christian Teaching 46 

Van Buren, The Secular Meaning of the Gospel 46 

Special List 47 

Ad Hoc 

The special issue on "the new morality" which we announced in the 
last issue must be delayed due to circumstances beyond the Editor's control. 
We are presenting in this issue, however, a background article on the subject: 
Edward LeRoy Long, Jr., Professor in the Department of Religion at Oberlin 
College in Ohio, has prepared for us a survey of the history and literature 
relating to "the new morality." We are plarming to have the other projected 
articles ready for the December issue. 

It is always a delight for the Editor to have something from the pen 
of Joseph Haroutunian, who is now on the faculty of the University of 
Chicago. The paper we are presenting was prepared for an Ethics Consulta- 
tion held in Chicago about a year ago, and Dean Gordon Jackson secured the 
manuscript for us. 

Faculty authors continue to be busy. A new book from Edward Far- 
ley, Professor of Systemiatic Theology, is the subject of a review article by 
Dennis E. Shoemaker. Mr. Shoemaker has been until recently the Associate 
Editor of Crossroads (for which much of Dr. Farley's material was pre- 
pared); he is presently editor of T/oe Journal, a periodical of resources for 
adult study, to be published by the Board of Christian Education of our 
Church beginning in 1968. 

Two other books from the labors of faculty members have just been 
published. From James L. Kelso, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament His- 
tory and Archaeology, comes Archaeology and our Old Testament Contem- 
poraries (Zondervan; |4.95). This is a "popular" book, with a foreword by 
W. F. Albright and a liberal supply of illustrations. The University of 
Chicago Press has issued the New Testament Greek Workbook, edited by 
James Arthur Walther ($4.50; spiral-bound). This textbook embodies the 
teaching method pioneered and refined at Pittsburgh Seminary. Reviews of 
these books will appear in a later issue of Perspective. 

— Concluded inside hack cover. 

From the President's Desk — 

One of the distinguishing marks of our time is the all but 

absolute power of communication media. Events taking place in the remotest 
corners of the earth are heralded by radio and television to "every Middlesex 
village and farm" in almost every nation of the world. Styles created in the 
centers of fashion are to be seen — albeit in cheap imitation — in the most 
isolated areas of human habitation. The masses of humanity hear the same 
things, see the same things, and respond to the same persuasions, so that the 
proper manipulation of the media of communication can create — if need be„ 
out of little or nothing — ^mass responses devoid of any profound thought or 
personal critical appraisal. Discuss a new book on the "Today" show, or 
review it in Time, or spread its author's face on Life; and several million 
people inunediately buy it, many will even read it, and most seemingly accept 
it without question as the last word on the subject. Greatness seems to be 
measured by quantitative rather than qualitative norms and the growth of 
any movement tends to be measured "by the strength of its appeal to the 
fickle taste of contemporary opinion." . _ 

The field of theology has not escaped. Theology in the last decade has 
been produced more by headlines than by theologians. The clever phrase, the 
novel or even the bizarre opinion, the religious tincture given to some of 
the current psychological or sociological views or even to some of the more 
depraved aspects of a jaded society, when put out to the public in attractive 
form, mould the religious views of many moderns and trafi&c under the gviise 
of theology. Slogans are often substituted for thought, and the latest trends 
of a confused and chaotic generation are offered in place of responsible 
wrestling with the biblical revelation or of disciplined grappling with the 
history of theological thought. 

The times are serious and fraught with decisive consequence. The marks 
of frivolity of our age may be a sort of reverse testimony to a deep conscious- 
ness of issues too great to be faced. A frivolous theology, which speaks only 

— Concluded on page 1 7, 

The History and Literature 
of "The New Morality'' 

by Edward LeRoy Long, Jr. 

X HE TERM "the new morality" has 
come into popular use in recent 
theological journalism to refer to a 
variety of trends in ethical analysis, 
some of which are very old. It is a 
phrase which attracts much attention 
at the dinner table, tea party, and bull 
session and which has become recent- 
ly discussed in the columns of pop- 
ular news magazines, but which lacks 
precision as a theological category. It 
seems to be of greater interest when 
advocated by round -collared bishops 
than when discussed by non-collared 
campus beats, but neither seems 
overly precise in defining what is 
meant by the term. It is sometimes 
identified with a similar catchy 
phrase, "the death of God," which 
has become an object of popular at- 
tention in about the same era; but 
such an identification can only com- 
pound the confusion. Many expres- 
sions of the new morality presuppose 
a theocentric world-view quite at 
variance with the outlook of religious 

It is the purpose of this article to 
look at the appearance of the phrase 
in recent theological discourse and 
the literature in which it has been 

used, hoping thereby to ascertain the 
main ideas which it incorporates. We 
may not succeed in fully defining 
what is talked about when the phrase 
is employed, for too often each per- 
son who uses the term keeps in his 
own thinking a constellation of ideas 
which may be diflferent from the 
ideas of the next person who uses k. 
The result is much talk and atten- 
tion-getting journalism but little 
precision in thought; much infatua- 
tion with a slogan but little informed 
commitment. Back of the term, how- 
ever, there is a very profound and ex- 
tensive theological movement which 
is shared to varying degrees by those 
who use the term. The serious char- 
acter of this movement is not to be 
lightly dismissed merely because the 
phrase "the new morality" is seldom 
employed in ways which do it full 

The confusion which surrounds 
the use of the term "the new moral- 
ity" stems in part from the fact that 
it has been applied to three or four 
distinctively separate kinds of move- 


merit in the last forty years. Some of 
these movements have been antithet- 
ical to each other. In 1928 Durant 
Drake of Vassar College published a 
book entitled The New Morality^ 
which was a thorough-going attack 
upon authoritarian and supernatural- 
istic ethics in the name of pragmatic 
naturalism. A few years later, G. E. 
Newsome of Selwyn College, Cam- 
bridge, and Chaplain to the English 
king, published a book- by the same 
title protesting the libertarian sexual 
ethics then advocated by Bertrand 
Russell. In this epoch the term "the 
new morality" was a product of 
naturalistic pragmatism and seems 
clearly to have been at odds with 
professed Christian thinking. 

With the rise of existentialism as 
a ""new" form of philosophy the 
meaning of the term "the new moral- 
ity" changed. Existentialism engen- 
dered a non-prescriptive approach to 
ethical questions. It stressed the im- 
portance of the specific conditions of 
each ethical choice rather than the 
claim of rules and principles. The 
theological world was influenced in 
part by this new philosophical out- 
look. Indeed, it found much of it 
congenial and made common cause 
in many respects with its basic in- 

tentions. In 1950 the Roman Cath- 
olic world was explicitly warned 
against this alliance in the papal en- 
cyclical Humani Generis which 
called existentialism a "new philos- 
ophy of error" and declared it equally 
dangerous to a true theology because 
like idealism, immanentalism, and 
pragmatism ""it tends to leave the un- 
changing essences of things out of 
sight, and to concentrate all its atten- 
tion on particular existences." 

In 1952 a papal allocution, Acta 
Apostolicae Sedis, again warned 
against moral judgments based upon 
considerations of situations alone; 
and on February 2, 1952, the Sacred 
Congregation of the Holy Office used 
the phrase "'the new morality" in an 
allocution which condemned this ap- 
proach to moral thinking and sought 
to arrest its influence in the acad- 
emies and seminaries of the church. 
Bishop John A. T. Robinson there- 
fore attributes the phrase to Pope 
Pius XII, at whose behest and au- 
thority the allocution was issued." 

The term as such seems not to 
have caused insurmountable difficulty 
for subsequent Catholic writers. 
Father Ignace Lepp, a French Roman 
Catholic priest, used it to entitle a 
book written in 1963,^ some eleven 

^New York: The Macmillan Company, 1928. 

2New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1933. 

^Christian Morals Today (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, cl964), p. 8. 

^La Morale Noiivelle (Paris: Editions Bernard Grasset, 1963). This work has been 
translated into English by Fr. Bernard Murchland, CSC, and published in 1965 
by the Macmillan Company under the title The Authentic Morality. Within the 
text, however, the phrase "the new morality" is used. 


years after the condemnation was 
issued. Lepp's book belongs on the 
left margin of acceptable Roman 
Catholic thinking and builds in part 
upon the categories of Teilhard de 
Chardin. Many of its arguments call 
for a flexible kind of moral thinking 
and would find approval among the 
advocates of the new morality in its 
more recent and more radical expres- 
sions, but the book does not partake 
of the hostility to principles as such 
that has been characteristic of the 
'more radical formulations. Lepp con- 
siders conditions under which the ap- 
f»lication of prescriptive moralism 
creates serious violations of good 
sense and humane values, but he does 
not plead the case for an ethic based 
solely upon considerations of ciraim- 
stances in the particularity of in- 
(dividual cases. 

The allocution of 1952 condemned 
both "existentialist" and "situational" 
approaches to ethical thinking. From 
the standpoint of a traditional moral 
theology of essences and principles 
these two approaches undoubtedly 
seem much the same. But thinkers 
like Karl Rahner have managed to 
plead for much that they consider 
valuable in the existential insights 
while taking into account the stric- 

tures contained in the Pope's dis- 
course.^ Care and caution is abun- 
dantly evidenced in Roman Catholic 
discussions of what may be valuable 
considerations to be garnered from 
existential and situational ap- 
proaches, which the condemnation 
of 1952 does not seem to have totally 
erased from the pages of books with 
the nihil obstat. It also has brought 
forth some newly reinforced defenses 
of traditional morality.^ 

Protestant discussions of these 
matters has proceeded without the 
restrictions implicit in a papal allocu- 
tion and its dampening effect upon 
the use of existentialist categories for 
setting forth ethics of the situation. 
However, until recently, at least, 
Protestant theologians have set forth 
their views without use of a slogan. 
Many of the most widely read treat- 
ments of Christian ethics from the 
Protestant perspective have incor- 
porated insights which are now dub- 
bed "the new morality," but which 
at the time of their writing were 
set forth as careful, deliberate, exten- 
sive, and scholarly efforts to spell out 
the ethical implications of the Ref- 
ormation principle of justification by 
faith alone. In fact, the Protestant 
discdssion of Christian ethics has for 

*Cf. "On the Question of a Formal Existential Ethics," in Theological Investigations: 
Volume II, Man in the Church, Kruger, Karl H., translator (Baltimore, Md., Heli- 
con Press, c 1963), pp. 217-234. 

^Cf. Ford, John C, S. J., and Kelly, Gerald, S. J., Contemporary Moral Theology: 
Volume I, Questions in Fundamental Moral Theology (Westminster, Md.: The 
Newman Press, 1962), especially chapters 4-8. 


years been dominated by treatments 
in which elements of the new moral- 
ity have been carefully explicated. 
Emil Brunner's The Divine Impera- 
tive^ Karl Earth's Church Dogmatics 
(especially Volumes II/2 and 
111/4),^ and Dietrich Bonhoeffer's 
Ethics,^ are among the continental 
statements which soon found their 
way into the American discussions.^*^ 
That there are very significant differ- 
ences of structure and emphasis 
among these books must surely be 
kept in mind by any careful student 
of these trends, yet each of them in 
its own way has taken issue with the 
ethics of philosophical rationalism 
and of religiously inspired legalism. 
In America the discussion of issues 
related to these matters did not take 
place with any fullness until the 
middle of the nineteen-fifties. It was 
heralded by an article by Paul Leh- 
mann entitled "The Foundation and 
Pattern of Christian Behavior" in 
1953.^^ Nels F. S. Ferre protested 

against the thrust for rational auton- 
omy in Christian ethics in 1951.^^ 
George W. Forell brought Luther's 
ethical thinking to American atten- 
tion in a new way in 1954.^^ But 
despite these several efforts the real 
impact of contextual and situational 
ethics did not strike the American 
theological consciousness until just 
before the 1960's. 

At first, the main ingredients of 
such an approach were well ex- 
pounded in books which made no 
mention of the phrase, "the new 
morality." In 1958 Joseph Sittler 
published his provocative essay, The 
Structure of Christian Ethics, in 
which the principle-transcending na- 
ture of Jesus' teaching was portrayed 
with the image of "gull-like 
swoops."^^ H. Richard Niebuhr's 
posthumous work The Responsible 
Self^^ appeared in 1963 and pre- 
sented the most careful statement of 
relational ethics as a generalized 
category yet made. Paul Lehmann's 

'''Philadelphia: The "Westminster Press, 1947. 

^Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1957 and 1961. ■ : 

^New York: The Macmillan Company, 1955. 

i°In recent years the thought of Rudolf Bultmann has become better recognized in 
America as part of the European contribution. It seems difficult to explain why 
some continental theologians become known this side of the Atlantic while others 
remain relatively unnoticed. Why, for example, have the works of N. H. Soe 
(Christliche Ethik, Munchen: Chr. Kaiser, 1942) and Hendrick van Oyen {Evan- 
gelische Ethik, Basel: Friedrich Reinhardt) attracted such little interest? 

iiln Hutchison, John A., editor, Christian Faith and Social Action (New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1953), pp. 93-116. 

i2"Theology and Ethics," in Minutes of the Presbyterian Educational Association of 
the South, 1951, pp. 47-77. 

^^Minneapolis : Augsburg Publishing House, cl954. 

^^Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, p. 50. 

i^New York: Harper and Row. 




tn a 

Christian Context^^ ap- 

peared the same year elaborating and 
defending a situational approach to 
decision-making as the single legit- 
imate manner of doing Christian 
ethics. Almost all of these books 
claim to call the theological world 
back to a biblical and Reformation 
type of ethic rather than forward to 
something "new." 

The Protestant use of the term 
"the new morality" is even more 
recent. In October of 1959, Joseph 
Fletcher wrote about "the new look" 
in Christian ethics.^" In 1963 Bishop 
Robinson entitled his chapter on 
morals in Honest to God^^ with the 
phrase "the New Morality," and like 
many of the other catchy aspects of 
that book this term stuck in the pub- 
lic consciousness. In 1963 Fletcher 
again set forth his view, this time 
speaking about ethics in "a new 
key."^^ Finally in February 1966 he 
broke forth with the phrase itself in 
Commonweals^ and later this same 
year gathered all the previous dis- 

cussions into a paperback entitled 
Situation Ethics: The New Moral- 
ity !^^ The phenomenal interest in 
this book shows with what alacrity 
the public will flock to a theological 
catch-word which arrives at a par- 
ticular kairos. 

Still another aspect of the new 
morality which must be mentioned 
is an emphasis upon the validity, 
authenticity, and importance of 
man's common social life. This point 
has been most vividly made, perhaps, 
by Harvey Cox in The Secular City^^ 
which welcomes both urbanization 
and the collapse of traditional reli- 
giosity as twin developments in the 
twentieth century. Bonhoeffer, who 
contributed to an existentiaily formu- 
lated statement of neo-Reformation 
ethics, began a prolonged discussion 
of religionless Christianity, a Chris- 
tianity suitable for men who live in 
a "world come of age." Other writers 
have propelled the same theme along 
its snowballing path, including 
Ronald Gregor Smith-^ and Gayraud 

^•^New York: Harper and Row. 

i7""The New Look in Christian Ethics," Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Volume 24, Num- 
ber 1, pp. 7-18. 

isLondon: S.C.M. Press, Ltd., 1963. 

^^''Contemporary Conscience: A Christian Method," Kenyan Alumni Bulletin, Vol- 
ume XXI, Number 3, July-September 1963, pp. 4-10. 

20Volume LXXXIII, Number 14, January 14, 1966, pp. 427-432. This issue also 
carries a commentary by Father Herbert McCabe, (pp. 432-437), and a second 
exchange between the two men. (pp. 437-440). 

2iPhiladelphia: The Westminster Press, 1966. 

22New York: The Macmillan Company, cl965. 

-"^The New Man: Christianity anci Man's Coming of Age (London: S.C.M. Press, Ltd., 


S. Wilmore.2* John A. T. Robinson 
coupled these two themes together 
in Honest to God, devoting a chap- 
ter to each. Strictly speaking these 
are related but not necessarily in- 
separable trends, since several ver- 
sions of contextual ethics presuppose 
the church (or divinely-formed 
koinonia) to be the very locus of 
Christian decision-making. However, 
even such a strong advocate of a 
koinonia ethic as Paul Lehmann has 
responded with evident enthusiasm 
to the outlook advanced by Cox.-^ 

The extensive popular usage of the 
phrase "the new morality" has 
created something of a reaction 
among even its own innovators and 
defenders. Robinson has given vent 
to the feeling of frustration which 
rightly ought to perturb any careful 
theologian v/hose categories have be- 
come bandied about more in the 
market place than in the academy: 

. . . the phrase "the new morality" has 
overnight become a slogan — relieving 
those who use it of any need to dis- 
tinguish between widely different 
views, or even to know what they are. 
Nothing, I judge, could be more in- 
jurious to the Church than this kind of 
blanket thinking. For if the response 

of churchmen is simply undifferen- 
tiating reartion, then it will merely 
confirm the image which we are con- 
stantly told is a caricature. And this 
would be tragic in an age in which 
Christian discernment was never more 

Canon Douglas A. Rhymes, himself 
a spokesman for the main tenets of 
the new morality, apparently would 
like to disclaim the name. Moreover, 
he is convinced that its approach to 
ethics is really not new at all but can 
be traced back to the mind of Christ 
himself.-^ Even the enthusiasts for 
the secular world have manifested 
second thoughts. In noting the warn- 
ing cries sent up by critics of the 
position, Cox has confessed that 
"... we should not dismiss con- 
servative voices with a mere wave of 
the hand. They will turn out to be 
right unless we are able to manifest 
a degree of maturity, accountability, 
and adulthood which has not yet 
emerged, at least in the American 
mentality and probably not in the 
mentality of most nations today."-^ 


Given the variety and complexity 
of ideas combined in the new moral- 

^^The Secular Relevance of the Church (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1962). 
2^"Chalcedon in Technopolis," in Christianity and Crisis, Volume XXV, Number 12, 

July 12, 1965, pp. 149-151. 
^^Christian Morals Today, p. 10. 
^'^No New Morality (London: Constable, 1964); published in America by Bobbs 

Merrill in 1965. 
28"Maturity and Secularity," in Religion in Life, Volume XXXV, Number 2 (Spring, 

1966), p. 216. 



ity — a variety and complexity often 
obscured by the quick and journal- 
istic coverage it receives, dare any 
interpreter define what is meant by 
the term? It is both risky and diffi- 
cult to attempt this, but without such 
an effort any future discussions of 
this matter will find it almost im- 
possible to focus on the relevant 
issues. With some trepidation, there- 
fore, the following generalizations 
about this approach to ethics are 
offered in the hope that they could 
receive reasonably wide-spread con- 
currence among most advocates of 
this position. They ought, at least, to 
carry the image beyond the over- 
simplified view that "the old moral- 
ity" is for rules and principles and 
"the new morality" against them! 

This approach to ethical decision 
seems, in the first place, to acknowl- 
edge that the claim of the person 
who stands in the concrete situation, 
either as recipient or dispenser of 
neighbor -love, is greater than the 
claim of any abstract conception of 
the right. The literature says this in 
many different ways: often this point 
is made negatively through a polem- 
ical attack upon rules and principles. 
But the positive implications of this 
declaration also deserve attention. 
Rhymes puts it this way: "The good- 
ness of an action will be determined 

not by reference to some absolute 
codes based upon a law system of 
morality . . . but by what is the rele- 
vant action for that individual in 
order that he may live his life in its 
wholeness and secure the maximum 
welfare of all concerned in the situa- 
tion."-*^ Robinson complains that 
the traditional supernaturalist ethic 
which is concerned about some meta- 
physical or moral universal thereby 
subordinates the importance of the 
individual, who should be dealt with 
in the context of his personal needs.^*^ 
Fletcher makes the same point when 
he says: "There are no Values' in the 
sense of inherent goods — value is 
what happens to something when it 
happens to be useful to love working 
for the sake of persons.""^ These 
quotations all presuppose a dichot- 
omy between the claim of rules and 
the needs of neighbor, a dichotomy 
which once it is posed quite naturally 
elicits the judgment that neighbor- 
claims are prior. 

The emphasis of the new moralist 
upon what happens to persons has 
much in common with the profes- 
sional stance of the healing arts. It 
is naturally suspicious of the judg- 
mental stance of revivalist preaching. 
Terms like "authentic," "mature," and 
"therapeutic" convey the mood of 
this approach better than terms like 

and Why Not," Religion in Life, op. cit., p. 173. 
^^Situation Ethics: The New Morality, p. 50. ;0 ■ \ 

29"'The New Morality: What, Why 
^^Honestto God, p. 112. 



"judgment," "law," and "guilt." Future 
statements of the new morality may 
make more of this contrast than most 
of the present statements have made, 
for up to this moment a preoccupa- 
tion with the contrast between legal- 
istic or principled ethics and ethics 
of response to particular situations 
has overshadowed many other poten- 
tially fruitful ways of setting forth 
the distinctive features of this "new" 
approach. If one examines the ways 
in which and the extent to which 
Paul Lehmann uses the term "ma- 
turity" in connection with his ethic, 
the portent of this development can 
be perceived. 

Back of this is a distrust of the 
authoritarian temper, a distrust 
which finds frequent open and even 
more frequent veiled expression in 
the writings of these thinkers. Rules 
and principles are considered to be 
bad, not only because they do not 
take the needs of individual cases 
into account but because they are 
indigenous to closed and rigid moral- 
ities. Judgments tendered in the 
name of natural law as well as scrip- 
tural legalism come in for severe 
criticism. Distrust of authoritarian 
legalism is certainly not a totally new 
thing in Christian ethics. It has an 
honorable history. What may be new 
in the new morality is the claim that 
such legalism can be overcome by 
revamping the basic structure of 

ethical thinking. = 

A second important aspect of the 
new morality is its willingness to 
make common cause with the moral 
practices of its culture. It regards the 
moral changes that are taking place 
in our time as more to he ivelcomed 
and transformed than to he resisted 
or reversed. It relaxes the tension be- 
tween Christian faith and culture by 
moving toward a congenial accep- 
tance of modern mores. Indeed, at 
times, ix. even hails modern culture as 
a more adequate channel for true 
morality than specifically religious 
cultures of the past. Kierkegaard ma7 
be the inspiration for the metaphy- 
sical assumptions of the new moral- 
ity, but it hardly shares the motiva- 
tions which prompted his Attack on 

Bishop Robinson begins his dis- 
cussion of the new morality by sug- 
gesting that Christian thinking about 
morals calls for the same recasting of 
traditional outlooks in light of the 
revolutionary changes in cultural be- 
havior which are necessary with re- 
spect to Christian formulations about 
God's nature. He declares 

. . . there is no need to prove that a 
revolution is required in morals. It 
has long since broken out; and it is 
no "reluctant revolution." The wind 
of change here is a gale. Our only 
task is to relate it correctly to the 
previous revolution we have described 
and to try to discern what should be 
the Christian attitude toward it.''- 

320p. cit., p. 105. 



Robinson goes on to declare that we 
cannot meet with dismay the changes 
in moral attitude occurring all 
around us. We must accept the fact 
that standards are changing and that 
religion no longer has the power 
effectively to control public mores. 

The new moralists have frequently 
said that Christianity is revolution- 
ary, that it must rarn its back upon 
the rural ethos and town culture with 
■which it is presently identified. The 
more cautious and conservative 
spokesmen for the new morality 
■have generally stated this conviction 
in general terms, as does Ignace 
Lepp, who declares, "... all authen- 
tic morality is necessarily revolution- 
ary, on the condition, evidently, that 
the word revolution is understood 
dialectically, the emphasis being put 
not upon the upsetting and destruc- 
tion of what is but upon the creation 
of what must be."^^ In more radical 
statements of this theme, however, 
the critical dialectic implied by 
Lepp tends to relax in favor of an 
enthusiastic embrace of the revolu- 
tionary changes of our era. These 
are accepted, hailed as the work of 
God, and looked upon as the chan- 
nels through which the Christian 
not only can, but is told he must, 
work if he is to be relevant in to- 
day's world. The culturally avant 
garde become the heros. Everything 

from the thrust of colonial nations 
for self-destiny to campus mores 
about sex and personal behavior is 
looked upon as a potentially fruitful 

It is wrong to think of the new 
morality merely as a more open atti- 
tude toward sex, though many de- 
fenders of the position have felt it 
necessary to counteract a popular 
tendency to make this identification. 
To be sure, the new moralists have 
addressed themselves to questions of 
sexual behavior, but they have just as 
often criticized the commercial ex- 
ploitations of sex in modern culture 
as they have complained about the un- 
fortunate consequences of religiously 
inspired prudery. The twofold em- 
phasis which is characteristic of 
most analysis of this issue by the new 
moralists is nicely packaged by 
Joseph Fletcher in this sentence: 
"We do not praise a technical virgin 
whose petting practices are sexually 
unrestrained, nor do we condemn a 
loving transgressor of the law who 
is emotionally honest although tech- 
nically unchaste."^* 

Yet a third feature of "the new 
morality'' is its preoccupation with 
method. This may not be a self- 
conscious preoccupation nor a mat- 
ter of deliberate attention, but who 
can read the literature of the move- 
ment without being struck with this 

^^The Authentic Morality, p. 54. 

^*"Love is the Only Measure," in Commonweal, January 14, 1966, op. cit., p. 431. 




characteristic locus of concern? As 
Paul Lehmann puts it, "The present 
analysis of Christian ethics as koin- 
onia ethics is an attempt to take 
with full seriousness the methodo- 
logical revolution in ethical thinking 
inaugurated by the Reformation."^^ 

We have fallen so naturally into 
this preoccupation that its subtle 
effects upon the nature of ethical 
discourse may escape our notice. The 
new morality is essentially convinced 
that the central ethical issue concerns 
the ways in which decisions are ap- 
proached and ethical judgments ren- 
dered. It blames the difficulties of the 
past upon faultiness of method and 
promises a new procedure for deal- 
ing with the problems of choice. The 
new procedure is set forth program- 
matically but always in terms of the 
description of the method rather 
than the specificity of its conse- 
quences. This inevitably subordinates 
questions about the content of moral 
behavior to questions about the proc- 
ess of moral decision. 

There is, of course, no little dis- 
cussion of the significance of love for 
Christian ethics in the literature of 
the new morality. Robinson puts it: 
"Nothing prescribed-except love'V^ 
Fletcher: "Love is the Only Norm.""''^ 
This curious willingness to speak of 

love in terms which are rigorously 
eschewed for all other value concepts 
might send linguistic analysts into a 
quandary. But this seemingly valua- 
tional espousal of love is consistent 
with the contextualist outlook be- 
cause love alone always makes judg- 
ments intrinsically related to the 
situation. The Christian can be un- 
reservedly committed to love since 
love commits him unreservedly to 
the needs of the person in the situa- 
tion. It alone can be used to speak 
of the Christian obligation to meet 
the situation in terms of the situa- 
tional demands. 

Love, alone, because, at it were, it has 
a built-in moral compass, enabling it 
to "home" intuitively upon the deepest 
need of the other, can allow itself to 
be directed completely by the situation. 
It alone can afford to be utterly open 
to the situation, or rather to the per- 
son in the situation, uniquely and for 
his own sake, without losing its di- 
rection or unconditionality.^^ 

Apart from this seemingly valua- 
tional discussion of love, which is in 
reality a paradoxical affirmation of 
methodological maturity rather than 
the portrayal of a given quality of 
behavior, the situationalists concen- 
trate upon a quite different locus of 
concern. It is a concern for the ways 
of ethical analysis and the proper 

^^Ethics in a Christian Context, p. 347. 
360/?. cit., p. 116. 
s^Op. cit., Chapter four. 
^monest to God, p. 115. 



way of describing how it should be 

' III 

The literature in which the 
themes of the new morality are set 
forth is not yet sufficiently extensive 
for contrasting schools of thought to 
have appeared. To be sure, different 
spokesmen for this kind of thinking 
make different emphases, and they 
stress different aspects of the com- 
monly articulated insight. On some 
issues different conclusions have been 
reached, but the main thrust for the 
moment is upon the features that 
are held in common. It is therefore 
impossible to identify schools of 
thought within the movement that 
consider themselves to hold distinc- 
tive ideas of their own. 

There is, however, another way of 
characterizing variations v/ithin these 
materials. The spokesmen for the 
new morality can be grouped into 
those who present an excited, aggres- 
sive defense and those who look 
upon the new morality as a correc- 
tive and supplement to traditional 
ways of thinking about ethics. Like- 
wise, the critics of the movement 
seem to divide into those who set 
forth a defensive rejection and those 
who would subject the claims of the 
new morality to a careful scrutiny 
and thorough exploration, raising 
issues in the process about its ade- 


Consider first, representative ex- 
amples of the aggressive advocacy. 
The front page of the issue of Com- 
monweal which presented an inter- 
change between Joseph Fletcher and 
Herbert McCabe carries the headline 
"Ethics at the Crossroads." Presum- 
ably we are at the junction where we 
must choose to go one way or the 
other, with no moderating inter- 
change possible. Fletcher himself 
once said it this way: 

. . . after forty years, I have learned 
the vital importance of the contextual 
or situational — i.e. the circumstantial — 
approach to the search for what is 
right and good. I have seen the light; 
I know now that abstract and con- 
ceptual morality is a mare's-nest.-^^ 

Joseph Sittler's The StrucUire of 
Christian Ethics is, if my reading is 
not faulty, likewise a rigorous de- 
fense of a single way of dealing 
with ethical choices, as is Paul Leh- 
mann's Ethics in a Christian Context. 
The zeal of new enthusiasm is 
coupled in these materials with the 
profound conviction that situational 
ethics has correctly understood the 
way in which Christians are to ap- 
proach the making of ethical choices. 
This is it; the alternatives are wrong 
and must be replaced. 

A different note is sounded by 
John A. T. Robinson in his Christian 
Morals Today. 

^^Kenyon Alumni Bulletin, op. cit., p. 4. 



... I believe that the "old" and the 
"new morality" (in any sense in which 
I am interested in defending the latter) 
correspond with two starting-points, 
two approaches to certain perennial 
polarities in Christian ethics, which 
are not antithetical but complementary. 
Each begins from one point without 
denying the other, but each tends to 
suspect the other of abandoning what 
it holds most vital because it reaches 
it from the other end."^^ 

In expanding on this observation 
Robinson finds values and functions 
in the old morality which seem hard- 
ly to be acknowledged by many of 
his fellow thinkers. Taken seriously 
this would make for a very different 
kind of discussion than that which 
results from setting these two kinds 
of morality into mutually exclusive 

James Gustafson has termed the 
dichotomy between context and prin- 
ciples a "misplaced debate," and has 
pleaded for a broader and more em- 
pirical way of identifying all the dif- 
ferent theological-ethical stances 
which can enter into various kinds 
of decision making.*^ Max Stack- 
house has made the same point as 

A truly "historical" theology of history 
for the new social gospel would not be 

caught designating one "system," or 
level of experience, as crucial and call 
that "the essential one." But, as we have 
pointed out previously, neither is it 
sufficient to say they are all important 
all of the time, for the question of ac- 
cents is crucial.*- 

In reading Roman Catholic thinkers 
about these issues one is always 
aware of the restrictions under which 
they supposedly work. Yet, it cannot 
be presumed that men like Karl 
Rahner or Bernard Haring seek to 
combine the insights of the prin- 
cipled approach with those of situa- 
tionalism simply because they are 
not free to embrace an unreserved 
kind of contextualism.*^ 

Among the critical responses to 
the new morality two kinds of ob- 
jection can be noted. On the one 
hand there are reiterated ethics of 
principles, insistent that there is a 
place for rules and guidelines. Paul 
Ramsey expresses this sort of senti- 
ment when he declares. 

Theologians today are simply deceiving 
themselves and playing tricks with 
their readers when they pit the free- 
dom and ultimacy of agape_ (or 
covenant-obedience, or koinonia, or 
community, or any other primary theo- 
logical or ethical concept) against 
rules, without asking whether agape 

^^Op. cit., p. 10. 

*i"Context Versus Principle: A Misplaced Debate in Christian Ethics," Harvard Theo- 
logical Review, Volume 58, Number 2, April 1965, pp. 171-202. 

42'"Toward a Theology for the New Social Gospel," The Andover Newton Quarterly, 
New Series, Volume 6, Number 4, March 1966, p. 16. 

*3Consider, e.g., Haring's treatment of these matters in The Law of Christ: Moral 
Theology for Priests and Laity, Volume One: General Moral Theology ("West- 
minster, Md.: The Newman Press, 1961), pp. 294-300. 



can and may or must work through 
rules and embody itself in certain 
principles which are regulative for the 
guidance of practice.** 

John C. Bennett has given expres- 
sion to much the same line of reason- 
ing, while Robert E. Fitch*^ has 
blasted the new morality for sub- 
stituting the tyranny of the contem- 
porary for the authority of the tradi- 
tional. These largely polemical re- 
sponses might very well lead, as they 
have in the case of Herbert Wad- 
dams,*® to a reaffirmation of the place 
of moral theology in Christian think- 

On the other hand, there is a small 
growing body of literature which 
questions the adequacy of the new 
morality in quite different ways. It 
worries, for example, lest the new 
morality abandon the sense of judg- 
ment and tension with culture in its 
effort to avoid authoritarian errors. 
Bernard Meland has given expression 
to this concern as follows: 

One thought that has troubled me in 
pondering the course of the present 
concern to secularize Christianity, and 
now the church's response to the moral 
life, is that its advocates seem to re- 
flert the same romanticist attitude to- 
ward people outside the churches that 

motivated many earlier liberals and 
modernists. In their view they are peo- 
ple with whom alert churchmen and 
theologians must identify themselves. 
Their ways must be our ways. What is 
not meaningful to them or usable by 
them must be discarded. Christian 
faith must be streamlined to accord 
with the energetic and practical bent 
of mind that characterizes the modern 
person absorbed in the restrirtive rou- 
tines of the technological era, or in the 
swift-moving, sophisticated life of pub- 
lic figures and the professional intel- 
lectuals. Is this not trading one mode 
of conformity for another, being ac- 
quiescent to the demands and condi- 
tions of a relativistic ethos instead of 
being puppets in the hands of an ab- 
solutistic and authoritarian church? '^^ 

John Fry has also raised the question 
whether contextual ethics really get 
down to the actualities of ethical 
decisions as commonly carried out by 
the ordinary individual.*^ 

The future direction of this dis- 
cussion is certainly not clear. Perhaps 
the issues have been canvassed so 
thoroughly that there is not much 
left to be said. On the other hand 
we have, perhaps, only opened for 
exploration very complex considera- 
tions about the nature of Christian 
decision. The months and years im- 
mediately ahead of us will alone tell 
whether the new morality is a pass- 

^^Deeds and Rules in Christian Ethics, Scottish Journal of Theology Occasional Papers, 
Number II (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1965), p. 4. 

^'^"'A View from Another Bridge," Religion in Life, op. cit. pp. 182-186. See es- 
pecially the concluding section of this article. 

^^A New Introduction to Moral Theology (London: S.C.M. Press, Ltd., 1964). | 

*^"A New Morality — But to What End?" In Religion in Life, op. cit. p. 195. 

^^The Immobilized Christian: A Study of His Pre-ethical Situation (Philadelphia: The 
Westminster Press, 1963), see p. 10. 


ing enthusiasm, a truly liberating cessful effort to state the truth of the 
way of thinking about Christian Gospel, 
ethics, or just another partially suc- 

From the President's Desk — Concluded 

to the superficial aspects of contemporary life, may get a ready following for 
a time. But into what oblivion will it fall when history speaks its verdict on 
our time.^ The way ahead lies in the direction of taking theology out of the 
hands of the headline writers and giving it back to the theologians. The 
future belongs to thinkers of the stature of such as Augustine, who can see 
the City of God beyond the decaying cities of this world and help other men 
to catch the glimmer of its light in the midst of our darkness. 

— D. G. M. 

Human Values and Social Change 

by Joseph Haroutunian 

1 HIS TITLE given me by the plan- 
ners of a conference implies that 
there are certain human values which 
are in jeopardy at this time of rapid 
and radical social change. Among 
these are integrity, freedom, justice, 
order, beauty. It appears that such 
things are being set aside in favor of 
opulence, status, and security; pro- 
duction, possession, and power. 

There is a conviction among us 
that truth, freedom, justice are au- 
thentic human values, whereas profit, 
consumption of goods, quest for 
power, are sub- or non-human. 
Hence we are said to be in peril of 
dehumanization or the loss of human 

There is a certain ambiguity in 
this matter which I believe needs to 
be cleared up. There are no values, 
but valuable things. The value of a 
thing is what k will bring in the 
market. It is an exchange value. 
Things are more or less valuable, and 
their values change under given 

Now, "human values" are not 
values in the above sense. There is 
nothing for which one can exchange 
integrity, freedom, justice, dignity. 
These values are not among the 
things we exchange. They are quali- 
ties which make us human. There 

are no substitutes for them, and 
without them man as an "intelligent 
creation" is denatured or destroyed. 
They have to do with the will of 
man as illumined by the mind, and 
the will of man is his being. These 
"human values" are of a different 
order from the values of things. It is 
better that we should call them not 
values but modes of being, modes of 

When a man gives up his freedom 
for security, or truth for profit, or 
justice for power, he gives up his 
humanity. Profit, security, power are 
instrumental values, instrumental and 
relative. Truth and integrity are ab- 
solute and final. As modes of being 
they are what they are, as man is 
what he is: an "intelligent creation." 

Truth, freedom, justice, are modes 
of being-with. Truth is a matter of 
fidelity, and one man is faithful to 
another man. Freedom is exercised in 
one's behavior toward others, and in 
response to men and institutions. 
Justice is giving another man his 
due. Human values have their valid- 
ity in our life together; they are ways 
in which we exist as human beings 
in our transactions one with another. 

If fidelity and freedom are 
modes of being-with, being-with 
itself is the first value or good. 


itself is absolute. 


It is first as the setting of human 
action and as the realization of hu- 
manity. The human mode of being 
is being-with, so that there is no 
being that is not being-with. The 
biblical statement that God created 
man male and female means that 
there is no man who is not male or 
female, parent or child, and neigh- 
bor. There is no humanity of which 
the male partakes without being 
male as against female, or of which 
the female partakes without being 
female as against male. The man 
who is not male or female does not 
exist: which means that the man 
who is not a fellowman does not 
exist. When the mode of fellow- 
manhood is removed, the human 
being is destroyed. 

Being-with is being itself. In the 
human mode of being there is no 
being beyond being-with. If the indi- 
vidual man were a being before he 
is a being-v/ith or a fellowman, we 
might conceive a being above or be- 
yond being-with. Then we might 
conceive being itself as beyond the 
individual being, or the Good as 
that in which every good participates. 
We might then conceive of values 
prior to human values which adhere 
to being-with. But since the individual 
does not exist except as a fellowman, 
or since being is being-with, there 
are no values which are above those 
which inhere in being-with. As 
being-with is absolute, so are fidelity 
and freedom, and under those justice 


There are many values which 
change with the economic changes in 
a given society. The goods available 
in a society, and the ways goods are 
produced and become available to 
consumers, determine the values of 
actions and things in that society. 
Brain may become worth more than 
brawn, competence more than dili- 
gence. Even the brains and compe- 
tence of people may be to a large 
extent worth less than those of com- 
puters and automated machinery. 
Precision, organization, standardiza- 
tion may be worth more than crafts- 
manship and even "creativity." 

The value of human beings in the 
economy may change. They may not 
be needed to do certain things, and 
they may not be needed to do the 
things that need to be done. They 
may hardly be needed at all. 

As goods change, tastes will 
change. Machines of various sorts, 
such as TV sets and cars, may and do 
lead people to new values; and things 
in food, drug, or hardware stores 
may revolutionize their enjoyments. 

In the course of economic change, 
people's views of truth, freedom, 
justice may and will also change. 
Men come to see truth as a matter of 
fact; freedom as equal opportunity; 
justice as their rights in the economic 
establishment. They come to prefer 
security of work in an industry or 



store to private enterprise; the suc- 
cess of an organization to distributive 
justice among its personnel; fidelity 
to the institution to fidelity to this 
official or that official. In short, insti- 
tutions replace individuals as objects 
of loyalty, and being-with is replaced 
by being-in. 

I think in the last resort the prob- 
lem of human values in our time of 
social change is the peril of the sub- 
ordination of being-with to being-in. 
This is the ontological peril of our 
time; and unless faced with what 
Tillich called "ultimate concern," it 
will lead to disaster or the self- 
destruction of man. The desperate 
thing is that the subordination of 
being-with to being-in is not only 
practiced by the vulgar, but also 
methodically justified by our "tech- 
nical reason." As every trained 
observer of our society knows, being- 
in is among us prior to being-with. 
We live and move and have our 
being in organizations. Our powers 
are integrated to the powers of our 
machines. Our ways are the ways of 
our institutions. We arrive at truth 
by way of statistics. We understand 
ourselves by way of the behavioral 
sciences. We produce results by way 
of calculation and control. We move 
mountains and fill up valleys not in 
the mode of being-with but in the 
mode of being-in, and we know our- 
selves methodically not as beings- 
with but as beings-in. 

There are those who believe that 

man is formed by his environment, 
and for these there is nothing to do 
but to work with the premise that in 
our society being-with is subordinate 
to being-in. After all, human values 
are relative to and produced by a 
given society and its institutions. In 
our technological society, being-in is 
prior to being-with. Organized be- 
havior counts for everything. The 
communion of fellowman counts for 
less. Our values are the values of our 
organized life, and they are what 
they are, and they are our values. 
They are different from traditional 
values called "human." But they are 
not therefore any less human, since 
we are clearly human beings, and 
they are our values. Values as goods 
acknowledged by a given society are 
what they are. They could hardly be 
other than they are. The thing to do 
is to produce them and enjoy them, 
and we both produce and enjoy them 
in our institutions and as beings-in. 

There are others who on the con- 
trary see the environment — that is, 
our technology — as instrumental to 
our values. They see values as the 
products of the human mind and 
will, and the machines as servants of 
man with his values. They say, "We 
produce our foods and clothing, our 
comforts and pleasures, our power 
and security, because we value them. 
We use our machines for producing 
these things and enjoying them. We 
have made the machines, and we can 
do with them what we will. We have 



no problem but to increase the qual- 
ity and quantity of our machines for 
the realization of our values. In short, 
it is up to us, by the use of our in- 
telligence, to make human use of our 
machines. Man forms his environ- 
ment and not the environment man. 
The problem is to control our ma- 
chines in the service of man." But 
this is no problem because man 
makes the machine and runs it. 

There is a third and perhaps bet- 
ter view that men and machines be- 
long in a "field" of forces: that nei- 
ther man nor machine is cause or 
effect; that they are to be understood 
as interacting entities, each as a unit 
of energy in a field of energy. In this 
view, man forms the machine, the 
machine forms man, and both are 
formed in a field of transaction 
which is prior to their interacting. 
Thus the deterministic model of 
"man and machines" is replaced by 
a model of symbiosis according to 
which both man and his institutions 
are seen as exercising power and as 
being formed by their interactions in 
a field of action. 

Perhaps this third view, derived 
from recent biology and physics, is 
more helpful in understanding the 
human situation today than are the 
other two. It certainly is helpful in 
getting us away from mechanical, 
cause-effect models in our attempt to 
understand the relationship between 
man and environment. It is hardly 
true that the machine produces hu- 

man values or that man uses ma- 
chines to realize predetermined 

Nevertheless, the issue is the sub- 
ordination of being-with to being-in 
in our technological society. This 
issue is obscured by the issue of 
'men and machines," and attention 
given to the latter issue is a telling 
evidence that the social scientist to- 
day subordinates being-with to 
being-in. There is today no "ultimate 
concern" with being-with as a mode 
of human being. The "organizational 
man," both practically and theoreti- 
cally, is losing knowledge of himself 
as being-with and of the qualities of 
fidelity and freedom as the modes of 
his existence as a human being. This 
is our peril as fellowmen which cor- 
responds to the v/ell-known perils of 
our common life in the world today. 


What then shall we do.^ We 
have an awesome problem here; 
therefore we ought to think. I offer 
the following not as a solution but 
as a direction our thinking may take. 

All power and competence, 
whether of the mind or of the body, 
whether of dynamos or of computers, 
are occasions of trial and temptation, 
and finally of tribulation. Power is a 
primary good and source of all good 
things. But we never have or use 
power except as under trial and 
never apart from temptation. We 
are tried as to whether we shall use 



power as fellowmen; and we are 
tempted to use it as if we were not. 

Every encounter of fellowmen is a 
trial as to whether they shall be and 
act as fellowmen. Fellowmanhood, 
being-with, is a matter not of nature 
but of decision between being-with 
or not being-with; of turning toward 
or turning away from, of being open 
or being closed to one's neighbor, 
whose presence is the logical condi- 
tion of one's being-with. There is no 
human existence without this trial. 
God tried Adam in the beginning, 
and He tries every man. And this of 
necessity, for there is no humanity or 
freedom except by trial. The crea- 
tions of man are also the trials of 

Where there is trial, there is free- 
dom; and where there is freedom, 
there is power. Freedom and power, 
though gifts to man as a being-with, 
that is by virtue of the presence of 
his neighbor, are exercised by the 
individual who is given them as his 
possessions and the signs of his 
being. By freedom and power the in- 
dividual exists as this being, and 
without these he does not exist as a 
human being. He wants to be secure 
as this being, with his freedom and 
power; and by a subtle suggestion 
made to his mind he wants to be 
secure by an autonomy which is the 
repudiation of his being-with. His 
neighbor, by whose presence he re- 
ceives his being-with, or being, in 
freedom and power, becomes to him 

a source and sign of his existence as 
a limited being. In his mode of 
being-with, his neghbor is both his 
benefactor and malefactor, both his 
friend and his enemy. He is both a 
promise and a threat. Hence his im- 
agination gives his mind the absurd 
notion that he ought to turn his back 
to his neighbor; that he ought to 
repudiate his neighbor, or annihilate 
him. In this way he seeks being, and 
denies being-with. He seeks security, 
and makes himself insecure and 
anxious and desperate. Thus trial is 
turned into temptation, and tempta- 
tion leads to tribulation. 

The tribulation of man begins by 
way of trial and progresses by way 
of temptation. The first principle of 
wisdom today is to see the age of 
power, the age of cybernetics, as the 
trial, and temptation, and tribulation 
of man who is a being-with. 

We have to go beyond the ques- 
tion of man's freedom in the use of 
his machines. If we insist upon our 
freedom, we shall end as slaves. We 
shall be able to maintain our human- 
ity or human values in the midst of 
a social change in this and the com- 
ing age of cybernetics, if we see our 
problem as one of intelligence, if our 
intelligence does not reveal our situa- 
tion to us as one of trial, temptation, 
and tribulation — all three at once. If 
we see ourselves only as on trial with 
regard to loyalty to certain values, so 
even as tempted more or less strong- 
ly by the goods we produce, we do 



not see clearly and well. We should 
know better. We are under tribula- 
tion, under the kind of temptation 
which Jesus spoke of in the Lord's 
Prayer, when he taught us to pray 
saying, "Lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil": temp- 
tation which is a deadly conflict, in 
which we are no match for the 
adversary; temptation which is an 
assault upon humanity, and the tribu- 
lation of man under this assault. 

Indeed our life with our machines 
is a trial of our humanity — our situa- 
tion in which we may live in the 
human presence. In this respect, in 
this responsibility, we are "intelli- 
gent creation" and free to choose be- 
tween good and evil, life and death. 
This our life is also a temptation 
which we tnay resist. There is no 
coercion which makes our fall from 
being-with or humanity necessary or 
predetermined. The very fact that the 
tempter reasons with us as he did 
with Adam or Jesus shows that in 
our action the mind and will are in 
operation. Still, the tribulation and 
the defeat, or the fall and the tribula- 
tion, are there also. We are assaulted 
and vanquished. We find ourselves 
without the power to resist tempta- 
tion. We find ourselves perplexed, 
and confused, and driven, and up 
against it. We are stupefied and 
weakened, and neither our knowl- 
edge nor our power is sufficient for 
our peace. We seek good, and be- 
hold evil; and life, and behold death. 

This is why we were taught to pray, 
"Lead us not into temptation, but de- 
liver us from evil {or the evil one)." 

It would be deadly ignorance for 
us to see our awesomely clever ma- 
chines as mere machines, or as the 
works of our hands and our slaves. 
Of course they are these things. But 
in a v/ay passing comprehension they 
function in our lives as occasions for 
trial, temptation, and tribulation. 
The temptations and tribulations 
which man suffered in his physical 
environment have not disappeared. 
They have taken on a new force in 
our technological age. The tempter 
has become more subtle and more 
persuasive and more deadly than he 
was in the garden of Eden. He has 
infinitely more to offer, and the 
things he offers have in them the 
promise of paradise. Through our 
machines we are up against the spirit 
of lies, and bondage, and death itself. 
In sheer actuality, our machines be- 
long in a spiritual world and func- 
tion as spirits before whom we live 
in confounding anxiety, compounded 
of guilt and insecurity, by and in our 
turning away from the human pres- 
ence and the presence of God in the 
human community. 

The logical thing to do is to turn 
back, and this we are to do with 
prayer and hope, as Christ's people 
and in the Church. We are not suffi- 
cient, but we know one who was and 
is among his people. We are not 
sufficient in ourselves, one by one; 



but we may draw intelligence and 
strength one from another as those 
who are in the company of Christ, 
knowing that God who produced the 
miracle of Christ, and his people, is 
able to produce the miracle of our 
becoming one to another help in our 
trial, encouragement in our tempta- 
tion, and victory in our warfare and 

I SAY THESE THINGS as it were in 
cold blood. People used to say, the 
ultimate value or good is Being. I 
say, and not I first or alone, the ulti- 
mate value or good is Being-with, 
God, who is Father, Son, and Holy 
Spirit; and by God and in God and 
through God, it is being-with, our 
life as fellowmen, our presence one 
to another. Our being-in, our life in 
our world, in our "technological so- 
ciety" is subordinate to our being- 
with. Such is the order of being 
created by God and redeemed in 
Christ Jesus. This order is permanent 
in social change. It is the absolute 
because it is the order of being in 
which alone we may exist as human 
beings. This order is maintained by 
trial, in temptation, and under tribu- 
lation. Therefore it is maintained by 
prayer for which the Church exists, 
and by intelligence which is from 
prayer and exhibits the power of 
God in our common life. 

God alone in the being-with of his 
people is able to maintain freedom 
and justice in the midst of social 
change. But God maintains "human 

values" by our being-with, by the 
freedom of man as under trial. There 
is no competition here between God 
and ourselves. We exist under the 
law or the command of God, of 
which it is the sign that our neigh- 
bors claim our fidelity in justice. As 
we live by the presence of our fel- 
lows, we are called to live a common 
life formed by the power and the 
goods of a "technological society." 
As thus called we are to care for the 
well-being of our fellowman. We are 
to do what we must do to establish 
justice in the sense of equal oppor- 
tunity in our midst. Here we must 
make use of technical and political 
reason. There is no substitute for 
competence and power in the mak- 
ing of freedom at this level, and 
there is no ascertainable limit to the 
common good that may be realized. 
We have every reason to have faith 
in reason. 

But the exercise of reason itself is 
a trial of man, a decision for or 
against being-with. This trial is also 
a temptation in which reason itself 
is threatened and a tribulation in 
which reason as a mode of being- 
with is overthrown, and the knowl- 
edge of good and evil issues in evil. 
The last word must therefore be that 
God alone, in the community of men 
who live and work under his grace 
and command, being themselves one 
to another the signs of his presence, 
is the hope of the preservation of 
values in the midst of social change. 

Book Reviews and Notes 


Farley, Edward. Requiem for a Lost Piety. The Contemporary Search for the 
Christian Life. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1966. Pp. 139. $2.25 

Some time ago I was pondering 
the merits of an obscurely written 
manuscript I hoped to use in Cross- 
roads when my eyes caught the fol- 
lowing sentence: "If you, dear reader, 
think you aren't getting anywhere, 
well you aren't." I laughed out loud. 
The writer had seemed to anticipate 
my predicament and graciously re- 
lieved me of further anxiety. Or at 
least that's what I thought until I 
looked again. As it turned out, what 
the writer was saying was something 
like this: "I have worked myself 
right into a corner — and if you stick 
with me, you'll be in that corner, 
too." Bravo! We need more people 
who are willing to be trapped un- 
comfortably in logical corners. 

Edward Farley appears to be one 
such man; and if his readers take 
him seriously, they will join him in 
the corner. Or maybe "corner" is not 
the right metaphor. Reading Requi- 
em for a Lost Piety suggests whole 
houses falling down, some new 
houses going up on quaking founda- 
tion, and — to switch images in mid- 
sentence — that the Christian life is, 

a la Kirkegaard, an experience sim- 
ilar to swimming in water 70,000 
fathoms deep. If this, however, sug- 
gests that Farley is a talented smasher 
of idols who gets his kicks that way, 
I want hastily to protest in his be- 
half. The book is the handiwork of 
a man who sees with 20/20 vision 
what most of us work hard at not 
seeing at all: that the American Prot- 
estant no longer can discern specifi- 
cally and concretely what the Chris- 
tian life is. What Farley sees is pre- 
tenses of piety, make-believe piety, 
remembered piety, but nothing true- 
blue. But let us add immediately, he 
is not happy about what he sees. Not 
that he is worried much about not 
being able to point to this or that 
person and say, "By golly, there goes 
a Christian!" More to the point is 
the fact that the Christian life must 
inevitably take some form, pattern, 
style, shape. Indeed, the Christian 
must ask two questions: What am I 
to believe? and. What am I to do? 
Farley claims that Protestants deal 
with the latter question either by 
shrugging the shoulders or by anx- 




iously inventing new pieties. Both 
ways give the show away: the ques- 
tion isn't being answered. 

Part of the problem with this book 
is that the author is a theologian 
with a steel trap mind. This is not 
the product of a social psychologist 
who diagnoses a problem arising out 
of culture, and then gleefully waits 
around for a theologian to squirm 
out an answer. There is such a ma- 
neuver, a kind of game designed to 
put nervous theologians on the spot. 
But it isn't played here. Farley takes 
matters in hand all by himself and 
says, theologically speaking, that 
Protestant piety has gone with the 
wind. But before we say something 
about how he comes to such a con- 
clusion, we should first understand 
more precisely what he means by 
"piety," and secondly, what type of 
theological analysis is going on here. 

"Piety" is defined broadly in this 
book as a pattern that gives a whole 
set of actions (everything a person 
does) its foundation and justifica- 
tion. As such it is not particularly a 
Protestant word or even a Christian 
word. Moreover, it has neutral value 
when taken by itself — ^being simply 
the name for the v/ay in which a 
person organizes a whole set of 
actions into a pattern that justifies 
what a person does. Probing this a 
bit, a person expresses his piety 
whenever he is not for sale. From 
this definition of "piety" in its more 
or less neutral state, we are now pre- 

pared to add adjectives — v/e can 
speak, for example, of religious pi- 
eties and secular pieties. And we may 
speak of particular religious pieties, 
of Protestant Christian piety, for in- 
stance, which has its beginning in 
the Reformation, and which picked 
up various emphases and themes 
along the way to the present time. It 
is this conglomeration of themes 
about the way in which the Chris- 
tian life ought to be interpreted, 
some of which come from Luther 
and Calvin, some from the "pietism" 
of Spener and Wesley, and some 
from frontier revivalism, which in- 
terests Farley. "All these together 
produced a 'Protestant piety,' an ex- 
pression of faith in concrete attitudes 
and acts, duties, and disciplines." 
These, seen separately and as a con- 
glomerate whole, are now lost to the 
contemporary Protestant Christian. 
With this definition and explanation, 
two things become clear: First, the 
author has rescued a word. It is now 
safe to use the word "piety" again. 
But secondly, we are faced with the 
argument that the word's essence, in 
contrast to its usable definition, has 
been lost. 

It has been suggested already that 
Farley is a theologian and not a 
sociologist commenting on the con- 
temporary cultural scene. So now 
we must ask our second question: 
What type of theological analysis is 
going on here? Closely related is 
another question: What is the con- 



nection Farley sees between faith and 
piety? Consider: If faith must ex- 
press itself (Farley's claim), and 
there is no longer a discernible pat- 
tern by which it may be expressed 
(also Farley's claim), does it follow 
that faith itself has passed away? In- 
deed not! Faith, he claims, must and 
does express itself in one way or 
another; but the particular patterns 
of expression that once seemed valid 
and viable in Protestant history are 
no longer operable. Further, new pat- 
terns now coming to the fore are not 
operable either. Thus the type of 
theological analysis done here is 
really a kind of historical criticism 
from a theological perspective. That 
is, what can no longer be regarded as 
valid and viable is in such a poor 
state not alone because multitudes of 
Protestants have shunted these pat- 
terns aside, but also because through 
theological analysis they can be 
shown to be invalid in the first place. 
It is time now to give some atten- 
tion to these themes that are con- 
glomerately held together within 
Protestant piety in order to give 
focus to what we have been saying 
in a general way, and also to give at- 
tention to the structure of the book. 
The first two themes, taken together, 
are Bible piety and Jesus piety. The 
first appeals to the Bible as an in- 
fallible book in which are found the 
rules for the Christian life; the sec- 
ond points to Jesus as the one whom 
the Christian must follow step by 

step. Both have an enduring place in 
Protestant piety, and, m a pinch, still 
function. So "proof-texting" the 
Bible, whether in general or in spe- 
cific reference to Jesus, is still the all- 
time favorite hermeneutical method 
for determining an ethical decision. 
In such piety patterns the Bible and 
Jesus become whips to use on those 
who fail to agree with us; or, at best, 
they demonstrate a magical use of 
Scripture and of Jesus. In any case, 
the patterns are idolatrous. So down 
with "The Bible says" pronounce- 
ments and "What would Jesus do?" 
questions. There's real loss in put- 
ting them down, but then idolatry is 
no real gain either. 

Following the analysis of Bible 
piety and Jesus piety, Farley takes up 
seven additional themes: Pure prin- 
ciples, religious duties, religious ex- 
periences, guiltless acts, guiltless mo- 
tives. Christian virtues, and unselfish- 
ness. These appear to be in direct 
contact with the first two and de- 
pendent upon them. When these 
themes are individually subjected to 
the author's analysis, what happens 
is something like this: Principles be- 
come mixed, confused, and impure 
in such a way that we live attuned to 
what is in vogue anyway. Moreover, 
Farley says, "If God's Word is iden- 
tified with past principles to which 
we resort when perplexed, then God 
is silent in the present — unable to 
speak a present Word in a novel 
situation." Religious duties, like fast- 



ing, giving alms, private prayer, 
Bible reading, and church attendance 
have a historically parochial status 
and cannot determine what the 
Christian specifically ought to do at 
all times. Religious experiences, when 
they are allowed to form the pattern 
of the Christian life, turn guilt and 
forgiveness into mere feelings, with 
the result that if I do not feel for- 
given, then I am not forgiven. Sim- 
ilarly, if emotions of a certain type 
become the final goal of the Chris- 
tian life, then God is dead or silent 
if I do not experience the proper 
emotions significantly. Again, if 
guiltless acts sum up the Christian 
life, then I cut myself off from par- 
taking in the social order where in 
the corporate nature of things I am 
not guiltless as a matter of course. 
But if I reach behind specific acts 
and resort to pure intentions and 
motives, I must learn that theolo- 
gically and psychologically what I 
really intend and what really moti- 
vates me is so clouded with ambi- 
guity that I cannot know whether 
my motives are really pure or 
whether they are rationalized to over- 
come my sense of guilt. Likewise, 
concentration on my virtues means 
that the world is tolerated as long as 
it doesn't get in the way — of my vir- 
tues. Such world-denial is, at the very 
least, contrary to God who created 
the world and sent his son to die for 
it — not just me and my tired virtues. 
Finally, concentration on the art of 

unselfishness as the goal of the Chris- 
tian life is also a form of world- 
denial — of myself, a creature in and 
of the world whom God is said to 

Such is a thumbnail sketch of the 
piety themes which the Protestant 
piety tradition has worked out, and 
which, in times past, were, in part, 
workable. But now, in spite of the 
analysis as much as because of it, 
these themes have suffered a decline 
and fall. Why? Perhaps the decline is 
God's judgment upon Protestant life. 
But who can say for sure? There are, 
however, more apparent reasons. 
One rises out of theology itself 
which in the Protestant mode criti- 
cizes more aptly than it constructs. 
It is easy, for example, for the theo- 
logian to show that the words of the 
Bible are not the Word of God; but 
Protestant theologians are lacking 
who will dare to say as clearly and 
definitively what the Word of God 
is. Another reason has a cultural 
orientation. Times have really 
changed. Scientists and others work 
at solving problems for which it was 
once thought Protestant piety offered 
real solutions. Such piety, whatever 
it really ought to be, cannot now 
play a "medicine man" role in the 
contemporary world. 

Now if things are in such a state, 
some reconstruction is obviously 
necessary. This takes the form, ini- 
tially, of an analysis of what Protes- 
tant piety is for in the first place. 



Why does the pattern we have been 
talking about exist? Because it is the 
means to an end — the vision of God, 
ultimately, and what has been called 
"a righteous, godly, and sober life," 
tem.porally. The goal entails a pil- 
grimage that is characterized in Prot- 
estant piety as being individualistic, 
perfectionistic, and inflexible. Rec- 
ognizing the sad end to which the 
old themes have come, and perhaps 
believing that the temporal goal and 
the whole pilgrimage as such is itself 
inappropriate, many contemporary 
Protestants have sought to invent 
new patterns of piety. The new pat- 
terns he calls pseudo pieties, in con- 
trast to genuine pieties, which the 
themes examined earlier might have 
been once but are not now, because 
they have fallen. The pseudo pieties 
are of two kinds: secular and reli- 
gious. The first include the "happi- 
ness cult" typified by Norman Vin- 
cent Peale, and "superpatriotism," 
whether in the form of Nazism or 
the John Birch Society. The second, 
which he calls "the religious pieties 
of official Christendom" include the 
angry prophet whose devastating at- 
tack on all plans, claims, and move- 
ments seems to be an end in itself, 
the "Christian existentialist" who be- 
moans the lack of "authentic experi- 
ences," and those who are dedicated 
to reforming the church by ambitious 
schemes of church renewal. These 
fail like all the previous themes be- 
cause they are pseudo, invented, and 

not genuine. And hence the recon- 
struction fails. 

Farley makes no attempt himself 
to state a contemporary Christian 
piety. He does, however, add a final 
chapter in which he suggests some of 
the enduring marks of Christian 
piety, those that must be included if 
a genuine piety is to emerge. These 
marks include: revelation as the ulti- 
mate source of piety, specific and 
concrete directions for being and 
doing, the condition of radical trans- 
formation, the conjunction of a con- 
temporaneous Word and present 
decision, the context of a social and 
historical environment, and the de- 
mand for a rigorous discipline. 
These, he says, are "so integral to the 
Christian life that if any one is elim- 
inated, a significant distortion is ef- 
fected." No one, of course, can now 
fashion such a piety, but such a lack 
is not all loss. Indeed not, for the 
contemporary Christian is yet able to 
possess certain attitudes which are 
derivative of these marks. We may 
expect him, claims Farley, to possess 
a measure of gratitude because his 
world has been given him by God, 
to share in the responsibility of the 
tasks of the world, and to have a 
sense of compassionate militance. 
And if those attitudes should them- 
selves fail as pointers toward the 
Christian life, as all piety formations 
are seen to do, there is yet the good 
news of Jesus Christ in which we 



Such is the structure of the argu- 
ment. As a reader I have given much 
thought to this work, and I am im- 
pressed. But at least one critical ques- 
tion does come to mind. It arises out 
of the whole treatment as it comes to 
a focus in the conclusion. We will 
continue, Farley says, to live "by the 
waters of Babylon." And we live 
there by grace. Well then, since all 
piety patterns have failed and do 
fail, and faith must yet express itself, 
should not the subject of the shape 
of the Christian life be left alone? 
Let faith express itself in whatever 
form of distortion it must take, rec- 
ognizing the terrible blend of experi- 
ences and past history that neverthe- 
less give some sense of unity to a 

person's life. Perhaps we should not 
attempt to call this pattern of ex- 
pression of faith "Christian," if we 
mean that word in some ideal sense. 
And yet, should we not call it "Chris- 
tian" freely? For if it really is faith 
that is being expressed, does the pat- 
tern matter overmuch? Perhaps not, 
and if so, then the message of the 
book is clear: it calls us away from 
anxious quests for the authentic 
Christian life. And if that is really 
so, Farley has sent some of us back 
to our theological drawing boards. 
In light of the contemporary chaotic 
state of theology, that might not be 
a bad idea. 

— Dennis E. Shoemaker. 


Ricoeur, Paul. History and Truth. Translated by Chas. A. Kelbley. Evanston: 
Northwestern University Press, 1965. Pp. XXIV + 333. $10.00. 

At the outset it should be said 
that the importance of this review to 
the readers of Perspective is more 
than the importance of a significant 
book. Paul Ricoeur, the author of 
History and Truth, will be the Schaff 
lecturer at Pittsburgh Seminary this 

Fall, in October, 1966. This major 
lectureship which eventuates in pub- 
lication had for its first lecturer C. F. 
D. Moule, well-known British New 
Testament scholar. The Frenchman, 
Paul Ricoeur, is equally eminent in 
his field of philosophy. To introduce 



him as well as to set the personal 
dimension of History and Truth I 
digress from a traditional review. 

Paul Ricoeur was born in 1913. 
He occupies a chair of philosophy at 
the Sorbonne in the University of 
Paris and also teaches at the Free 
Protestant Faculty of Theology in 
Paris. Prior to his professorship at 
the Sorbonne he held the chair of 
History and Philosophy at the Uni- 
versity of Strasbourg. Ricoeur is a 
Reformed lay theologian, a brilliant 
representative of French Protestant 
thought, and a zealous supporter of 
the ecumenical movement. In his 
own preface to the first edition 
(1955) of History and Truth (His- 
torie et Verite) he lists his own ma- 
jor roles: university professor teach- 
ing history of philosophy, a member 
of the team of Esprit, a left-wing 
Christian monthly founded in 1932 
by the French Personalist, Em.manuel 
Mounier, to whose memory one of 
the essays in the book is dedicated, 
and "as listener to the Christian mes- 

As a philosopher Ricoeur uses 
phenomenological method^ and exis- 
tential categories. But Ricoeur goes 

far beyond Husserl's phenomenology. 
He is intent, as Husserl was, to 
describe the appearances of things 
within man's consciousness, but he 
insists on going beyond to transcend- 
ence, mystery, the thing-in-itself, to 
metaphysics. Consequently, both 
Kant and Hegel are his guides as 
well as Husserl. Phenomenological 
method has its limitations. Certain 
aspects of life are not accessible to 
phenomenological description: i.e., 
the mystery of another personality, 
the reality over and above the ap- 
pearances, the thing-in-itself which 
is a limiting concept for Ricoeur. 
Spiegelberg maintains that Ricoeur 
is the best informed French historian 
of phenomenology, has made the 
largest and most original contribu- 
tion to phenomenology among the 
younger philosophers, and is the 
French philosopher best qualified to 
bridge the gap between German and 
French phenomenology.^ 

In his existentialism Ricoeur is 
favoring affirmation in protest to 
Sartre's philosophical existentialism 
as primarily negation. He questions 
Sartre's nihilism while respecting his 
brilliant exposition of nothingness as 

iPaul Ricoeur has tried to delimit if not fully define phenomenology: "Fundamentally, 
phenomenology is born as soon as we treat the manner of appearing of things [or 
ideas, values and persons] as a separate problem by 'bracketing' the question of 
existence, either temporarily or permanently." (Quoted by Spiegelberg, The Phe- 
nomenological Movement, 1,7). Two fine illustrations of phenomenological method 
are the last two chapters in History and Truth. 

^Herbert Spiegelberg, The Phenomenological Movement (The Hague: Martinus 
Nijhoff, 1960), II, pp. 563, 578. 



the "ontological character" of the hu- 
man reality.^ One of the essays in 
History and Truth, "Negativity and 
Primary Affirmation," is contra Sartre. 
Ricoeur argues that Sartre has gotten 
off the track with a "flimsy concep- 
tion of being" (p. 324). Sartre has 
confined being to the "factual," the 
mundane, to thingness. Therefore to 
be free, man must be no-thing. Free- 
dom is essentially negation for Sartre, 
the "secreting [of] his own nothing- 
ness" (p. 320, quoted from Being 
and Nothingness). Sartre sees au- 
thentic human acts as withdrawal, 
uprooting, disconnection, cleavage. 
Sartre opts for each act of mine to 
nihilate that which has preceded. In 
the act I exist, for I break away from 
that which ensnares me. Being is a 

Ricoeur also embraces negation; 
for example, v/e all perceive from a 
limited point of view or perspective; 
but this very limitation points be- 
yond itself ("transgresses") and the 
situation of finitude to transcendence 
(at least human). Likewise the im- 
minence of death (negation) implies 
the will to live (affirmation). We 
think, we perceive, we intend some- 
thing beyond the negation. There is 
a primary affirmation presupposed in 
every negation. But Ricoeur's notion 
of being is not within the philosophy 
of form, as in Plato and other classic 

philosophies, where the transcenden- 
tal Ideas are being itself; rather, his 
notion of being is act: "living affir- 
mation, the power of existing and of 
making exist" (328). So Ricoeur's 
existentialism is essentially affirma- 
tion v/hich is inclusive of, and basic 
to, all negations of doubt, anguish, 
death, etc. 

In some ways Ricoeur owes dis- 
cipleship to Gabriel Marcel, the 
French Roman Catholic existentialist 
philosopher. His major systematic 
work, Philosophie de la volunte, is 
dedicated to Marcel and he acknowl- 
edges that "meditation on the work 
of Gabriel Marcel is in fact at the 
root of the analyses in this work."* 
The mystery of the body has been a 
major topic of Ricoeur, and in this 
he shows indebtedness to Marcel. 
Likewise, Ricoeur has been also con- 
fronted significantly by another 
Christian existentialist, Karl Jaspers, 
an extensive study of whom resulted 
in his first book-size publication. 

The main concern of Ricoeur is 
that he sees man broken (alienated) 
and in need of reconciliation with 
himself, his body, and the world. 
Man's tornness is manifest between 
objectivity and subjectivity, between 
the abstract and the concrete, be- 
tween universality and particularity, 
between society and the neighbor, 
between the involuntary and the 

^Charles A. Kelbley, "Introduction," History and Truth, p. XVII. 
^Quoted by Spiegelberg, op. cit., p. 569. 



voluntary, between love and coer- 
cion, between guilt and greatness. It 
is in the dimension of Transcendence 
that reconciliation is hoped for. In 
the chapter, "Christianity and the 
Meaning of History," Ricoeur iso- 
lates three levels of history: progress, 
ambiguity, and hope. Progress relates 
to tools, instruments (knowledge as 
well as hammers) for man's achiev- 
ing. But it is on the level of ambigu- 
ity, lived history where decisions are 
made and events take place, that 
man's alienation is experienced. 
Guilt attaches to this level but so 
does greatness. But whence reconcil- 
iation for this level of ambiguity? 
Ricoeur locates it on the level of hope 
which is eschatological. Because God 
is the Lord of all history, there is 
meaning within the ambiguities but 
a meaning hidden in mystery, that 
is, not disclosed within the history 
itself. There is revelation from 
sacred history which illumines all 
history. The level of hope is the 
faith-level: faith that the Lord of his- 
tory is moving history, through guilt 
and redemption, toward himself. 

If one keeps his eyes focused solely 
on lived history, the power of recon- 
ciliation is hidden in mystery, and 
life is absurd. This is the existential- 
ist vision. But Christianity, while 
also participating fully in the absurd, 
in ambiguity, has confidence in a 
hidden meaning and is encouraged to 
embrace courage "to believe in a pro- 
found significance of the most tragic 

history" and to maintain a "sense of 
the open" (pp. 95, 96). 

As we turn our attention specifi- 
cally to History and Truth, we 
should note that it is a collection of 
some of Ricoeur's essays appearing 
from 1949-61. The French edition 
came out in 1955, to which were 
added several essays for the 1964 edi- 
tion, translated for Northwestern 
University Press in 1965 by Charles 
Kelbley. Part I is methodological 
dealing with the significance of his- 
torical work, objectivity and sub- 
jectivity in history, and theological 
perspectives on history. Part II is 
ethical in its broadest meaning deal- 
ing with what Ricoeur calls a "cri- 
tique of civilization." Politics and 
power are the central orientation of 
this part. 

A summary of the first two essays, 
the second of which is the central 
essay of the book in the opinion of 
the author, will provide methodolog- 
ical clues. In "Objectivity and Sub- 
jectivity in History," Ricoeur brushes 
aside a narrow positivistic critique of 
documents as a too-limiting concept 
of historical objectivity. Rather, he 
insists upon the crucial function of 
the historian's subjectivity. The his- 
torian makes a judgment of what is 
important so that the insignificant 
can be sorted out and a continuity 
created. This judgment lacks a "sure 
criterion," but is essential to history. 
Then the historian must "feel" his 
way through many explanations of 



the historical epoch: motivations, 
fields of influence, conditions, etc. 
Because of historical distance the his- 
torian by a kind of imagination must 
re-present past times, bringing the 
past closer while giving full signifi- 
cance to the epoch's own time and 
place. Finally, the historian must try 
to understand men from other times 
and other places. The historian's 
work is stamped with subjectivity 
because it is the labors of an "inves- 
tigative ego." But there is good and 
bad subjectivity. There is objectivity, 
then, in the order of subjectivity as 
good subjectivity prevails over bad. 
Objectivity in this sense is of the 
nature of the ethical. 

We may pause here, though there 
is much more in the chapter, to re- 
flect on the significance of this under- 
standing of the historian's craft for 
the biblical exegete or the church 
historian, or pastorally speaking, for 
the weekly task of the preacher and 
educator. If we are not hypocritical 
about the role of subjectivity, the 
theological task ought to help edu- 
cate our subjectivity so that "open- 
ness," "availability," and "submis- 
sion," help to overcome bad sub- 
jectivity (cf. p. 31). 

In chapter two, "Philosophy and 
the Unity of Truth," Ricoeur's con- 
cern is to take seriously philosophy's 
singularities (e.g., Plato, Kant) 
which is history, and to deny a single 
truth, an immutable truth, which 
makes null the singularity. Con- 

cerned as Ricoeur is with the con- 
crete over against the abstract, the 
particular over against the universal, 
men as centers of existence and 
thought over against a universal 
logic, he is concerned to do the his- 
tory of philosophy rather than the 
philosophy of history. The latter, as 
in Hegel, imposes a single interpreta- 
tion and an imperialism. To do the 
history of philosophy is to grasp the 
singularity of the various philoso- 
phies. This is not to "reduce them to 
the subjectivity of the philosophers 
themselves." Rather, it is to enter 
into their work to find their mean- 
ing, to locate their intention, through 
their "project" to find the expression 
of their consciousness (cf. p. 47). 
This calls for communication where- 
in each one is in dialogue with 
others: "... each one 'explains him- 
self and unfolds his perception of 
the world in 'combat' with another. 
. . . " (p. 51). The philosophers of 
the past thus are saved from "obliv- 
ion and death" because they change 
their meanings since there emerge 
new intentions and "possibilities of 
response" which their contempora- 
ries had not seen. Truth, then, is 
intersubjective, the dialogue between 
present research and the past, and 
avoids the narrowness of singularity 
deposited in the museum of the past 
and the universality of the timeless 
idea. For Ricoeur the unity of this 
truth is eschatological: "I hope I am 
within the bounds of Truth" (p. 54). 



The preposition "within" suggests 
that truth is a milieu. It is a concept 
in keeping with man's lived history 
as ambiguous! 

Part II, the ethical orientation, 
deals superbly with the problem of 
power. In "The Political Paradox" is 
a fine critique of power as well as 
a probing analysis of Marxism. In 
"State and Violence" Ricoeur is once 
again dealing with the level of am- 
biguity when "love and coercion 
walk side by side" (p. 246). The 
citizen's role in supporting the State 
or "betraying" it is equally an "ethics 
of distress." The one is to assure the 
State's survival; the other "affirms 
treason in order to bear witness" (p. 
246). In "Non-violent Man and His 
Presence to History" Ricoeur affi^rms 
that the efficacity of non-violence is 
to be in a dialectical relationship to 
history: the critic of history, the 
symbolizing of certain values and 
ends as a reminder to history, and 
even a force within history. These 
and the other chapters in Part II are 
testimony that Ricoeur has inserted 
himself in the "trajectories of civili- 
zation" and so has the right to speak 
of the nature of truth. 

Paul Ricoeur is a first-rate thinker. 
One of the values of this book is to 
see what a first-class historical and 
philosophical mind, not writing the- 

ology, can do with theological 
themes. He is also a splendid writer. 
This is not bed-time reading; but 
time spent wrestling with the mo- 
mentous topics of History and Truth 
might well foment intellectual rev- 
olutions among us. In his preface to 
the first edition Ricoeur writes, "In 
a sense, all of these essays are in 
praise of the word which reflects 
efficaciously and acts thoughtfully" 
(p. 5). His word is incisive and 
brilliant; reflection upon it can be 

History and Truth is a translation. 
I would like to have checked some 
sections in the French but had no 
copy before me. However, I assume 
a good job by Charles Kelbley for in 
most places the translation is lucid. 
It ought to be noted that Mr. Kel- 
bley has also translated Paul Ricoeur's 
Fallible Man, available in paper back. 
(Northwestern University Press is 
soon to bring out an English trans- 
lation of Ricoeur's Le Volontaire et 
Vinvolontaire. ) Some questionable 
punctuation (pp. 67, 238, 310), a 
misspelling (repentence, p. 301), 
and two grammatical errors (of he" 
[p. 7} "for he" p. [233}) are sur- 
prising but understandably a part of 
our ambiguous existence. 

— Gordon E. Jackson. 



Leitch, Addison H. Winds of Doctrine. Westwood, N. J.: Revell, 1966. Pp. 
62. $2.50. 

Dr. Leitch, Professor of Philoso- 
phy and Religion and Assistant to 
the President at Tarkio College, is 
an alumnus and former President of 
Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Semi- 
nary and served as a Professor of 
Theology in Pittsburgh Theological 
Seminary. His host of friends will be 
delighted to have available to them 
in this work his five G. Campbell 
Morgan Lectures. Written with the 
clarity, insight, and good humor that 
have always characterized his teach- 
ing, the book presents a very brief 
survey of what he regards as being 
the major emphases in the thought 
of several of the most widely known 
and influential theologians of the 
present day. Following the initial 
chapter which sketches the 19th- 
century philosophical and theological 
background of contemporary theol- 
ogy. Dr. Leitch introduces the 
thought of Karl Barth in a second 
lecture. A third chapter reviews some 
characteristic contributions of Emil 
Brunner, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and 
Reinhold Niebuhr. The work of 
Rudolf Bultmann and Paul Tillich is 
examined in Chapter 4; and the final 
lecture, entitled "Counter-Thrust," is 
concerned with an evaluation and 
criticism of modern theological work 
in general from Dr. Leitch's own 
position within the conservative 
theological tradition. 

The author is, of course, well 
aware of the dangers of oversimplifi- 
cation that accompany attempts to 
interpret the thought of such first- 
rank scholars and thinkers as he has 
chosen to examine when little time 
and space are available for the task. 
Accordingly the risks are taken re- 
sponsibly and the attempt is made 
in the summary treatment of what he 
believes are central thrusts in the 
theologies under review to keep his 
judgments true to the total context 
of each man's thought, which the 
limitation of space prevents him 
from providing in detail. The result 
is a useful introduction even though 
other interpretations may differ with 
the judgments that are made. In view 
of the author's restricted aim it 
would have been helpful to his read- 
ers had he appended bibliographies 
to the expository chapters. 

Dr. Leitch's approach is sympa- 
thetic and positive. He welcomes the 
contributions that these men have 
made and at the same time clearly 
states the points at which he cannot 
fully accept those contributions or at 
which he feels constrained to reject 
them altogether. This is particularly 
true of the final chapter where he 
appeals for a theology which rec- 
ognizes that truth is by nature defini- 
tive and which, so far as may be 
found possible, seeks to resist what 

he is convinced are the vitiating pres- 
sures of the relativism that he finds 
in contemporary theological endeav- 
ors. It is to be hoped that Dr. Leitch 
will someday do in depth what he 


has done so well in a work that of 

necessity has the scope of an ex- 
tended and useful outline. 

— John M. Bald. 

Longenecker, Richard N. Paul: Apostle of Liberty. New York: Harper and 
Row, 1964. Pp. X + 310. $4.50. 

"The proper way to a theological 
understanding of the Apostle's teach- 
ing about law" is a perplexing prob- 
lem in Pauline studies. Longenecker 
approaches this problem from what 
he calls the "legality-liberty dialectic" 
of the Apostle. These concepts are 
not balanced against one another but 
measured in Christ. Longenecker is to 
be commended for his distinction be- 
tween "legalism" and "nomism." 
Legalism is obedience to the external 
aspects of law in order to gain right- 
eousness. "Nomism" is the control of 
life in conformity to a rule or stand- 
ard. This is a useful distinction and 
an aid to a more accurate appraisal 
of Judaism. The reviewer believes 
that this might be further strength- 
ened by using the term "torahism" 
for the latter concept. 

Longenecker begins by evaluating 
the source material — talmudic litera- 
ture, the apocryphal and pseudepi- 

graphic writings, the historical ac- 
counts, the Pauline corpus. Longe- 
necker establishes four categories of 
talmudic literature that can be used 
for Pauline studies. While these will 
undoubtedly be debated, the estab- 
lishment of some standards to show 
what Judaic material is contemporary 
with Paul is a must. 

The book is divided into three 
areas: (1) Paul's pre-Christian days 
under the legal system of Judaism; 
(2) his Christian teaching concern- 
ing legality and liberty; (3) his per- 
sonal practice of liberty as an apostle 
of Christ. An appendix on Jerusalem 
Christianity concludes the book. 

Pre-destruction Judaism is de- 
scribed as a complex within a unity. 
The role of Hellenism in Paul's life 
is minimized. Paul is a Hebrew of 
the Hebrews, a nomistic Pharisee. It 
was the person and work of Jesus 
Christ as the fulfiUment of Israel's 



hopes and not dissatisfaction with 
the law that transformed Paul. The 
law was an essential but second- 
ary part of the Old Covenant. The 
law, especially Jewish nomism, has 
come to its full completion and 
terminus in Christ. Now in its place 
stands liberty in. Christ. This indica- 
tive of liberty carries with it the 
imperative that is based upon the 
fact of a new nature. Paul himself 
illustrates this in his actions to others 
— the Judaizers, the "pillar" Apos- 
tles, the Libertines, the Ascetics, the 
"Strong", the Ecstatics. 

There is little nev/ness or fresh- 
ness in Longenecker's presentation. 
Its brilliance lies in its thoroughness. 
He gives fair and substantial argu- 
ments for alternatives. Longenecker 
knows and has utilized the material 

of Pauline studies. This can be seen 
in the richness of the footnotes. They 
run the gamut from Baur to Munck 
and Reitzenstein to Davies. While 
the reviewer can find many point of 
both major and minor disagreements, 
Longenecker is to be commended for 
the comprehensive nature of this 

The book includes several indices 
and is generally well printed. A 
transposition occurs on p. 165, lines 
1 and 2. The transliteration on p. 
140 "kayyem" should be "kallem." 

The results of a comparative study 
of Pauline books (a look on the 
bookshelf) show that the publisher 
has excelled. The book is a real 
bargin. The price is right. Let other 
publishers copy right. 

— Howard Eshbaugh, 

Baker, Nelson B. What Is the World Coming To? A Study for Laymen of 
the Last Things. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1965. (Paper.)' Pp. 157. $2.25. 

There is a steady interest in escha- 
tology, and certainly laymen need 
help in understanding its intricacies 
and mysteries. This book by the Pro- 
fessor of English Bible at the Eastern 
Baptist Theological Seminary is de- 
signed to meet the need for a non- 
technical discussion of the questions 
in this area, but I must register over- 
all disappointment. 

Responsible students of New 
Testament eschatology are convinced 
that there is a tension between the 
already and the not yet, and Profes- 
sor Baker has indicated this. But his 
methodology leaves me uneasy. Side 
by side with critical observations 
helpful for understanding New Testa- 
ment problems there are uncritical 
uses of scriptural quotations. The 



writer jumps about upon occasion 
and juxtaposes references without 
careful regard for their context. He 
seems to have some compulsion to 
quote as many Bible verses as pos- 

He has an uneven view of what is 
important for discussion under his 
principal theme. Millenarian views 
are relegated to an appendix as "a 
minor and disputed matter"; but 
since it "ought not to be ignored," he 
gives his own view — which is a com- 
bination of good thinking and proof- 
texting. He raises questions that are 
commonly asked — perhaps by sectar- 
ians more often than by Reformed 
laymen — but he devotes pages to 
curious and unnecessary matters ( "re- 
union before resurrection?"; "recent 
expressions of Antichrist") while 
giving only scant mention of the very 
substantial problem of Johannine 
eschatology outside the Apocalypse. 

Another problem that I find in 
this book is the author's bibliography. 
I am always suspicious of studies that 
quote a series of references without 
serious attention to them — a sort of 
extracanonical proof-texting method. 
Thus the Notes quote ten different 
authors before one is "op. cited"; and 
only three in the first twenty-four are 
repeated. The choice of cited litera- 

ture is also unsatisfactory. Thus 
George E. Ladd's article in The New 
Bible Dictionary is referenced, but 
no indication is given that the author 
is familiar with Ladd's two major 
books on eschatology. A book by 
Shedd, published in 1885, is quoted; 
but J. A. T. Robinson's Jesus and His 
Coming is never mentioned. And this 
is not to be excused because the book 
is for the long-suffering layman; for 
Reinhold Niebuhr, Emil Brunner, 
and G. H. Beasley-Murray are among 
the references. Then there is the 
prize quotation that comes from the 
author's wife's uncle who heard it 
from the pastor of the one quoted! 

The perceptive reader will not be 
satisfied with the treatment of several 
of the topics. For example, there is 
discussion of the dominical saying 
about the gospel being proclaimed to 
all the nations before the end; but in 
this context there is no indication of 
the implied problem about the na- 
tions and generations that rise and 
pass away without the gospel — what 
point is there in pushing the "all 
nations" limit when in fact only the 
nations of the end time are meant.^ 

Westminster's editorial board, I 
should suggest, could have done bet- 
ter by this arresting subject. 



Motyer, J. A. After Death — A Sure and Certain Hope? Philadelphia: West- 
minster, 1965. (Paper.) Pp. 94. $1.25. 

This is one of a paperback se- 
ries, Christian Foundations, prepared 
under auspices of the Evangelical 
Fellowship in the Angelican Com- 
munion and edited by the redoubt- 
able conservative scholar Philip E. 
Hughes. One wonders why West- 
minster Press chose to sponsor such 
a series if this volume is typical; for 
besides being somewhat quaint in 
general approach, there are a number 
of "inside" remarks, especially re- 
garding the Thirty-Nine Articles of 
Religion of the Church of England. 
One would have expected Seabury 
Press to be the American sponsor; 
and again there rises the question of 
why treatment of the eschatological 
theme by those outside the Reformed 
tradition is published by the United 
Presbyterian publishing house. 

The author warns that he will gbiQ 
"as many references as possible to 
Scripture"; and this is perhaps the 
principal weakness of the book 
(from the reviewer's standpoint) for 
two reasons. First, references are 
cited and in some cases developed 
without due regard to their particular 

place in the biblical witness. Second, 
one misses discussion of biblical de- 
tails which seem to be precisely rele- 
vant, e.g., the raising of Lazarus, 
Jesus' empty tomb, 1 Cor, 15. Al- 
though he is usually careful to avoid 
blatant misuse of Scripture, the au- 
thor heaps up references where some 
attention to New Testament doc- 
trine "across the board" would have 
been more helpful. 

Two viewpoints are given partic- 
ular attention from a negative criti- 
cal stance: universalism and "condi- 
tional immortality" (the latter es- 
poused in this country by Seventh- 
Day Adventists). Neither set of 
arguments seems very well articu- 

Some readers will appreciate the 
citation of theological books a cen- 
tury old; others will find this some- 
what tedious, perhaps irrelevant. And 
there are several typographical er- 
rors in the text. One hopes to be 
spared any sermons or lectures that 
may grow from this book. 

— /. A. Walther. 



Nicholls, William, ed. Conflicting Images of Man. New York: Seabury Press, 
1966. Pp. 231. $4.95. 

This is an interesting book, though 
one of very limited usefulness. It con- 
sists of eight essays, some by rather 
well-known theological writers, on 
the problem of reconstructing a 
Christian theological view of man 
which will be both pertinent to and 
defensible against modern secular 
views of man. The authors had no 
intention of forming a "school." 
Rather, they did what so rarely hap- 
pens among contemporary theolo- 
gians: they collaborated to contribute 
what they could to the clarification of 
an important issue. Indeed, Natlian 
A. Scott, Jr., who wrote the lead essay 
on "The Christian Understanding of 
Man," was courageous enough to al- 
low his essay to be read by the others 
before they wrote their pieces, know- 
ing full well that at least one of these 
men, Professor D. G. Brown, a phi- 
losopher who regards theological 
assertions as either false or vacuous, 
was waiting to take pot shots at what 
he had to say. Fortunately, for the 
Christians, the editor has the last 
word with a long essay that takes up 
about a quarter of the book. His at- 
tempt to explain the logic of theo- 
logical assertions and thereby nullify 
Professor Brown's criticisms is one 
of the most interesting and original 
parts of the book. He takes up the 
issue where Paul Van Buren left it 
and carries it toward a much more 

satisfactory solution. 

Some of the major questions dis- 
cussed, aside from that of theological 
language are: the role of Christology 
in determining the Christian view of 
man; whether a theological view of 
man should be regarded as a special 
contribution to be combined with 
the contributions of other sciences 
by philosophical anthropology, or 
whether it was the office of theolo- 
gical anthropology to synthesize the 
contributions of the special sciences 
studying one or another aspect of 
man's existence; whether man is 
"free" in some sense that would set 
an absolute limit against eflforts to 
"research" him and explain him in 
causal terms; the extent to which 
"autonomy" can be affirmed as good 
and proper for man. The book has 
some intelligent and well-informed 
comment to make on all these mat- 

Its chief limitations are three. 
Despite their interest, the contribu- 
tions of Scott, Gustafson, Brown, and 
to a lesser extent Nicholls are too 
sketchy to provide much more than 
clues about the direction further 
work in this area might proceed. The 
contributions of Ronald Gregor 
Smith and Keith Bridston are, for the 
most part, trite. Finally, the essays by 
Pieter de Jong on Teilhard de Char- 
din, and Reginald Fuller on Bon- 


hoeffer's prison writings, while in- exhibit little connection with the 
formative and competently done, other essays. 

Ogletree, Thomas W. Christian Faith and History. Nashville: Abingdon 
Press, 1965. Pp. 238. 

It has become increasingly evident 
that some of the basic problems 
which preoccupied liberalism fifty to 
a hundred years ago are still with us. 
The problems posed by the vast in- 
crease in historical knowledge, and by 
the discovery that man's involvement 
in history radically alters our under- 
standing of "human nature" (and 
therefore our whole conception of 
man's relation to God, of Christ, the 
Church, redemption, etc. ) , have been 
the chief reasons for the theological 
innovations proposed by liberalism 
and neo-orthodoxy. 

Professor Ogletree provides an ex- 
cellent analysis of the different ways 
in which two pivotal figures, Ernst 
Troeltsch and Karl Barth, tried to 
deal with these problems. Troeltsch, 
sometimes called the systematic theo- 
logian of the "History of Religions 
School," tried to interpret Christianity 
along purely historicist lines. A com- 
pletely non-miraculous, rational, eth- 
ical account was to be given of it. In 
this he succeeded, but only at the cost 
of undermining the claim, essential to 
the New Testament message, that 
the event designated by the name 

"Jesus Christ" is not merely one 
event among others, but the event 
which is absolutely decisive for every 
man's relation to God regardless of 
his historical proximity or distance 
to it. 

Karl Barth, precisely in order to 
protect that claim, attempted to deal 
with the problem of history by first 
establishing theology as a discipline 
fundamentally independent of his- 
torical research, though it could use 
historical research for achieving a 
preliminary understanding of Scrip- 
ture. Barth realized that his theolo- 
gical doctrines of God, Jesus Christ, 
the Church, etc. all contained claims 
about history, e.g., that this or that 
happened at a certain point in time 
and space (Exodus, Resurrection, 
etc.); or that the meaning of his- 
tory as a whole, and therefore the 
meaning of every event in history, 
has to be understood from the stand- 
point of God's self-glorification in the 
fulfillment of His covenant with man 
in Jesus Christ. The net effect of 
Earth's effort, in Ogletree's opinion, 
was to isolate the content of the 
Christian faith from the historical 

context in which it arose and devel- in human history. 



In general, one has to concur with 
Ogletree's conclusion. His proposal 
for a fresh attack upon the problem 
also seems worth taking up. He 
thinks Barth's theological framework 
provides more opportunities than 
Barth himself realized for finding 
positive theological significance in 
the continuities of history and the 
varieties of meaning men have created 

The book is a delight to read be- 
cause of its direct, clear style. What 
makes it even more valuable, how- 
ever, is the fact that the author gives 
you som.ething of lasting usefulness, 
namely, some basic clarifications — 
free from the mystification of the 
"New Hermeneutics" — of the cate- 
gories used in the on-going debates 
on "faith and history." 

— -George H. Kebjn. 

Barth, Karl. The German Church Conflict. (#1, Ecumenical Studies in His- 
tory.) Richmond: John Knox Press, 1965. Pp. 77. $1.75 (paper). 

The explicit intention of the edi- 
tors of the new series, "Eaimenical 
Studies in History," is "to further the 
I unity of the Church." It has to be 
I asked, therefore, whether this selec- 
tion from Karl Barth's writings dur- 
ing the German Church conflict is 
more than important documentation 
I (which it undoubtedly is), and 
I whether it does, in fact, contribute 
to "Church unity." Not all Christians 
will agree that it does: those, for ex- 
ample, for whom an intact polity is 
indispensable will, in 1966 as in the 
thirties, regard Barth and the Con- 
fessing Church as being subversives. 
On the other hand, those who believe 
that the unity of the Church is au 
fond in God and not in man, and 

who would rather see the organized 
Church in ruins than maintaining a 
specious formal unity by theological 
compromise and adulteration of 
Biblical faith, will see in these essays 
— as did the hard-pressed men of the 
Confessing Church — an unyielding 
prophetic summons to the Church to 
lose herself for the sake of the Gos- 
pel, and in that way to experience 
and manifest the only unity that 

This book is important. Western 
Christendom as a whole has not 
properly heeded or understood the 
issues and the lessons of the German 
Church struggle, in which there was 
a most agonizingly direct engage- 
ment between forces which are still 



active throughout Christendom, in 
the U.S.A. as elsewhere, but which 
are not steadily recognized for what 
they are. If Barth is right when he 
says that "the doctrine and attitude 
of the German-Christians is nothing 
but a particularly vigorous result of 
the entire neo-protestant develop- 
ment since 1700" (p. 16), or when 
he concludes that "our opposition 
must ... be fundamentally directed 
against the ecclesiastical and theolo- 
gical system of neo-protestantism in 
general, which is certainly not in- 
corporated only in the German- 
Christians" (p. 25), then it is clear 
that the presuppositions of what de- 
veloped into the German-Christian 
heresy are present in our own situa- 
tion here and now. Six years later, 
Barth went further: "The worst 
enemy of the Confessing Church to- 
day is the army of neutrals . . . 
whose ecclesiastical desire is to be 
dangerous to no one, thus letting 
themselves be in no danger, who, to 
further this aim, are never at a loss 
for any possible patriotic, pious and 
learned argument ... it is not im- 
possible that there are many sub- 
jectively well-meaning persons in this 
army. But its watchwords . . . spell 
death" (p. 75). It is probably of 
such a passage as this that the Gen- 
eral Editor, in his Introduction, says 
that it "speaks both directly and in- 
directly to the ecumenical situation 
today — not least in Great Britain 
and the United States of America": 

for although the contextual situation 
varies, the Churches here and now 
are invaded by and must deal with 
racism, nationalism and praaical 
atheism: and neutralism is still the 
safe way out. 

It might not be out of place to 
draw the particular attention of theo- 
logical teachers to Barth's 1935 state- 
ment that when a resolute witness to 
the sovereignty of God appeared, ''it 
was not the old leaders of the Church, 
nor the theological faculties . . . (nor 
was it the German "religious social- 
ists!'), but it was very quietly, now 
here, now there, a few hundred pas- 
tors with their congregations, who 
formed free synods and parish con- 
ferences with the aim of giving an 
account to themselves and the rest of 
the Church, to the German-Christians 
and pagans, and to the National 
Socialist State itself, of what the 
Church today is and is not, what it 
wants and does not want" (p. 44). 
This suggests that the indifference, 
condescension, or active dislike with 
which some theological teachers re- 
gard the pastoral, congregational 
ministers betrays a faulty apprecia- 
tion of where the Church's life is 
being most authentically, if not most 
noisily, lived. 

The debate of those days was not 
distinguished by graciousness, and 
the harshness of some of Barth's 
statements, however understandable, 
is often unpleasant. For example, 
after listing "five fundamentals" of 



the Confessing Church's protest 
against current developments, he con- 
cludes by saying: "Whoever is of 
another opinion' in any one of these 
five points himself belongs to the 
German-Christians and should not 
be permitted to disturb a serious op- 
position by the Church any longer" 
(p. 17). In other words, any devia- 
tion from or qualification of Earth's 
theses exposed a man to insult, the 
most damning kind of categoriza- 
tion, and — when possible — eviction 
in disgrace by the brethren from 
further "serious" debate, presumably 
until such time as he repented. One 
would like to know whether, now 
that thirty years have elapsed, there 
has been any real relaxation of this 
kind of stringency, and if so, the 
reasons for the relaxation. One won- 
ders, too, whether Earth is now will- 
ing to exonerate Pastor von Eodel- 
schwingh from the charge of being 
"soft" on the German-Christians 
(cf. pp. 35-37), or to withdraw the 
withering comment that had von 
Eodelschwingh been made State- 
bishop, this would have ensured "a 
peaceful continuance in Church life 
in mild harmony with the new age 

and order" (p 43): or whether he 
might even find a gentle word to say 
for the memory of that great villain, 
Eishop Marahrens. The very fact that 
the Editor says that he "has not 
thought it necessary or desirable to 
supply notes to allusions which 
might wound reputations," suggests 
that these essays still return an echo 
of the rancorous personal animosities 
which were so conspicuous a feature 
of German Church life in the 
thirties, and which have played no 
small part since then. 

In spite of this, what comes 
through loud and clear as one reads 
this book is the great trumpet-cry, 
the clean and authentic warrior-note 
which — although Earth himself 
would be the first to deplore it — 
evokes our love and veneration for 
the man who, under God, recalled 
the Church to her own peculiar 
forms of honour, duty and courage: 
for it is not the men of the Confess- 
ing Church alone, but a whole gen- 
eration, who owe their theological 
lives to that which the Spirit and the 
Word gave us through his work. 

— lain Wilson. 



Stegenga, J., compiler. Greek-English Analytical Concordance of the Greek- 
English New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1963. Pp. xv + 832. 

This impressive volume, which 
was prepared under the auspices of the 
"Hellenes-English Biblical Founda- 
tion" of Jackson, Mississippi, pro- 
poses to consist of "an alphabetical 
listing of every Greek word in its 
original case form and inflexions 
brought together with ail relative, 
prefixed and compounded words in 
alphabetical arrangement under its 
particular root stem ... a grammat- 
ical analysis of each word, prefixed 
word or compounded word ... a 
systematic listing of every Greek and 
English word . . . given by book, 
chapter and verse wherever found in 
the writings of the New Testam.ent 

[and] English translations given in 
every form used and if omitted, thus 

The book can be very useful to 
researchers. Unfortunately, it has 
been based on the Textus Receptus; 
and a sampling of entries indicates 
that errors are frequent enough to 
suggest careful checking by the user. 
The English translations of the var- 
ious entries indicate how important 
ix. is for the student of the Greek 
New Testament to be able to use 
such tools as Arndt & Gingrich's 
Bauer and the Kittel Theological 

Rolston, Holmes. The Bible in Christian 
1966. Pp. 104. $1.45 (paper). 

Richmond: John Knox, 

This useful little volume, which 
had already appeared in 1962, is re- 
issued in the Aletheia series; and 
mirabile dictu the price is now five 
cents less! The author, who is well 

known to Presbyterians, particularly 
in the South, builds to a philosophy 
of Christian communication which 
will be instructive for all who share 
the Church's educational task. 

Van Buren, Paul M. The Secular Meaning of the Gospel — Based on an 
Analysis of Its Language. New York: Macmillan, 1966. Pp. XVII + 205. 

This controversial but very impor- 
tant book (first published in 1963) 
is now available in paperback. The 
author is one of the so-called "death- 
of-God" theologians. One ought to 

read this book to see what the writer 
is saying rather than to accept the 
stereotypes so widely and irrespon- 
sibly bandied about. 


From time to time we receive from publishers books which we sirxcerely intend 
to review. The reasons are diverse why certain reviews never are written; the vicis- 
situdes of faculty activity and editorial preoccupation are perhaps the basic problems. 
The following books are ones which we feel sure merit review but which are unlikely 
now to receive further space in this journal. We express our appreciation to the pub- 
lishers for their willingness to supply these books, and we recommend these titles to 
our readers for their special consideration. 

Althaus, Paul. Faith and Fact in the Kerygma of Today. Philadelphia: 

Muhlenberg, I960. Pp. 89. $1.75. 
Brunner, Emil. 1 Believe in the Living God. Sermons on the Apostles' Creed. 

Translated and edited by John Holden. Philadelphia: Westminster, I960. 

Pp. 160. $3.00. 
Carnell, E. J. The Kingdom of Love and the Pride of Life. Grand Rapids: 

Eerdmans, I960. Pp. 164. s$3.50. 
Diem, Hermann. Dogmatics. Philadelphia: Westminster, I960. Pp. 375. 

Fuhrmann, P. T. An Introduction to the Great Creeds of the Church. Phila- 
delphia: Westminster, I960. Pp. 144. $3.00. 
MacGregor, Geddes. The Coming Reformation. Philadelphia: Westminster, 

I960. Pp. 160. $3.50. 
Piper, Otto A. The Biblical View of Sex and Marriage. New York : Scribner's, 

1960. Pp. 239. $3.95. 
Whitehead, Alfred North. Process and Reality. New York: Macmillan, I960. 

Pp. xKiii + 509. $6.50. A reissue. 
Wyon, Olive. Prayer. Philadelphia: Muhlenberg, I960. Pp. ix + 68. $1.00. 
Berger, Peter L. The Noise of Solemn Assemblies — Christian Commitment 

and the Religious Fstablishment. New York: Doubleday, 1961. Pp. 189. 

$1.75. (Paper.) 
Boman, Thorleif. Hebreiu Thought Compared with Greek. Translated by 

Jules L. Moreau. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1961. Pp. 224. $4.50. A 

volume in The Library of History and Doctrine. 
Bruce, F. F. Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Revised and enlarged 

edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961. Pp. 160. $3.00. 
Bruce, F. F. The English Bible. A History of Translations. New York: Oxford 

University Press, 1961. Pp. xiv -j- 234. $3.75. From the earliest English 

Versions to the New English Bible; illustrated. 
Clarkson, Jesse D. A History of Russia. New York: Random House, 1961. 

Pp. xix + 857. $10.00. 


Cunliife-Jones. Jeremiah. New York: Macmillan, 1961. Pp. 287. $3.50. One 
of the Torch Bible Commentaries. 

Gustafson, James M. Treasure in Earthen Vessels. New York: Harper, 1961. 
Pp. xi + 141. 13.50. I 

Kelly, A. D. Christianity and Political Responsibility. Philadelphia: West- 
minster, 1961. Pp. 239. $5.00. One of the Westminster Studies in Chris- 
tian Communication. 

Luccock, Halford E. More Preaching Values in the Epistles of Paul. New- 
York: Harper, 1961. Pp. 255. $3.75. 

Newbigin, Leslie. Is Christ Divided? A Plea for Christian Unity in a Revolu- 
tionary Age. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961. Pp. 41. $1.25. 

Ogden, Schubert M. Christ Without Myth. A Study Based on the Theology 
of Rudolf Bultmann. New York: Harper, 1961. Pp. 189. $3.75. 

Rhys, J. H. W. The Epistle to the Romans. New York: Macmillan, 1961. 
Pp. vi + 250. $3.50. 

Smart, James D. Servants of the Word. The Prophets of Israel. Philadelphia: 
Westminster, 1961. Pp. 95. $1.50. One of the Westminster Guides to 
the Bible. 

St. John-Stevas, Norman. Life, Death and the Law. Bloomington: University 
of Indiana Press, 1961. Pp. 375. $5.95. 

Winter, Gibson. The Suburban Capitivity of the Churches: and the Prospects 
of Their Reneiual to Serve the Whole Life of the Emerging Metropolis. 
New York: Doubleday, 1961. Pp. 216. $3.50. 

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Act and Being. New York: Harper, 1962. Pp. 192. 

Clark, Henry. The Ethical Mysticism of Albert Schweitzer. Boston: Beacon 
Press, 1962. Pp. y^i). + 241. $4.95. 

Crim, Keith R. The Royal Psalms. Richmond: John Knox Press, 1962. Pp. 
127. $2.75. 

Johnson, H. and Thulstrup, N. (eds.). A. Kierkegaard Critique. New York: 
Harper, 1962. Pp. 311. $6.00. 

Littell, Franklin H. Erom State Church to Pluralism: A Protestant Interpreta- 
tion of Religion in American History. New York: Doubleday, 1962. 
Pp. XX + 174. 95^. An Anchor Original (paper). ^ 



Pfeiffer, Charles F. The Dead Sea Scrolls. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 
1962. Pp. 119. $2.50. Revised, enlarged, and illustrated second edition 
of a 1957 publication. 

Proudfoot, Merrill. Diary of a Sit-In. Foreword by Frank P. Graham. Chapel 
Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1962. Pp. xiv + 204. $5.00. 

Sontag, Frederick. Divine Perfection. New York: Harper, 1962. Pp. 158. 

Thielicke, H. Christ and the Meaning of Life. New York: Harper, 1962. Pp. 
186. $3.00. 

Thompson, David. Europe Since Napoleon. New York: Knopf, 1962. Pp. xx 
+ 909 + xl. $10.00. Second edition, revised, of a Borzoi Book. 

Thielicke, H. Man in God's World. New York: Harper & Row, 1963. Pp. 
223. $3.95. 

Harrison, Everett F. Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids: 
Eerdmans, 1964. Pp. xiv + 481. $5.95. Covers the background, lan- 
guage, textual criticism, canon, and literature. 

Ad Hoc^ concluded 

Paul Ricoeur will be the second Schaff Lecturer at the Seminary, 
in October. Professor Ricoeur's latest book has been reviewed for us by 
Dean Jackson, who has also included some information on the life and 
thought of this distinguished French Christian scholar. 

Circulation of the Seminary's publications is a considerable task. We 
appreciate the thoughtfulness of those who promptly notify the Director of 
the Mailing Department when any change of address is required. 

—7. A. W. 


Volume VII December, 1966 Number 4 

Published four times yearly in March, June, September and December, by 
the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 North Highland Avenue, Pitts- 
burgh, Pa. 15206, one of the seven seminaries of the United Presbyterian 
Church in the U. S. A. Second-class postage paid at Pittsburgh, Pa. Changes 
of address should be sent to the Seminary, care of the Director of the Mail- 
ing Department. 

Editor: James Arthur Walther, Th.D. 

Pubhcattons Committees 
Faculty Student 

Peter Fribley Robert H. McClure, Jr. 

Lynn B. Hinds, Chmn. 
J. A. Walther 

J. Rowe Hinsey, ex. off. 

William R. Atkins, ex. off- 

William R. Phillippe, ex. off. 

Circulation: William W. Hill 

Secretarial Assistant: Mrs. Elizabeth Eakin 

/ Contents 

Ad Hoc 2 

From the President's Desk 3 

Theology As the Mind's Worship 5 

by Gordon D. Kaufman ^ 

You are This 17 

by David A. MacLennan 

Notes on the Practice of the New Morality 22 

by Elwyn A, Smith 

Yahweh v. Cohen et al 28 

by Jared J. Jackson 

Book Reviews and Notes 

Von Rad, The Problem of the Hexateuch, etc 33 

Jared J. Jackson 

Shires, The Eschatology of Paul 35 

J. A. Walther 

Walther, New Testament Greek Workbook 37 

Herman C. Waetjen 

Hyatt, The Bible in Modern Scholarship 38 

Barker, Everyone in the Bible 39 

Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom 40 

Bruggink, Guilt, Grace, a7id Gratitude 40 

The Advance of Christianity 41 


McCracken, What Is Sin? What Is Virtue? 41 

Rhymes, No New Morality 42 

Charles C. W. Idler 

Two for the Money on Sex 43 

William R. Phillippe 

Muirhead, Education in the New Testament 47 

David B. Cable 

Monographs in Christian Education 47 

Makers of Contemporary Theology 48 

MacLennan, Rev ell's Minister's Annual 1967 48 

Manson, The Way of the Cross 48 

Ad Hoc 

Our projected issue on "the New Morality" has for the present 
foundered on the shoals of editorial difficulties. We make no promise, but 
we still plan for such a project next year. Meanwhile, we offer here an article 
which Professor Elwyn Smith wrote for the projected issue before he left our 
faculty. There are also some book reviews which were prepared for the same 

The address by Professor Kaufman was delivered at our Fall Con- 
vocation last September. It was so well received here that we are anxious to 
share it with our readers. 

Dr. MacLennan'S sermon was preached at our Fall Communion. He 
is one of our denomination's best-known preachers. Before beginning his 
ministry at Rochester, he was Professor of Preaching at Yale Divinity School; 
and he had prominent pastorates in Canada. He served as Vice-Moderator of 
our 177th General Assembly. 

The article by Jared Jackson was first presented as a paper at one 
of the semi-monthly meetings of the Biblical Division. We offer it here for 
our readers who enjoy substantial study of difficult scripture passages. 

Many speakers in our convocations present fine material which we 
hope our readers enjoy when it is published here. We assume, however, that 
we can best serve our seminary circles — both on campus and extramural — 
by preferring the writing of our faculty and staff. Accordingly, we intend to 
emphasize "home-grown products" in Volume VIII. 

— ;. A. W. 

From the President's Desk — 

One of the issues forced upon us by current discussion and by the 
mood of the times is the meaning of relevance. Customarily the word in our 
time seems to describe that which can be got across to people, that to which 
people will gladly listen, that which seems to them applicable to their in- 
terests or needs. This would seem to limit relevance to that which ministers to 
people's felt needs, which in turn implies that people can discern what their 
true needs are. The question poses itself, however: if that which is relevant 
be limited to what men think or feel that their needs are, what becomes of it 
should they be mistaken in their self -analysis? 

One can imagine, for example, a good many so-called relevant discus- 
sions going on in the school in Wales which was recently inundated by a 
slag slide, killing about one hundred and fifty people. A physical hygiene 
discussion about the care of teeth or the necessity of vitamins to health could 
well have seemed relevant to those participating. In the light of the im- 
jmediate situation, however, this was totally irrelevant. Death hovered so 
tragically near that one hundred fifty people will never again brush their 
teeth nor take vitamins. The only really relevant thing in that situation would 
have been a timely warning of the coming disaster which would have en- 
abled them to escape it. The conscious needs of that group were not at that 
moment their real needs. 

The history of words, like the history of ideas, sometimes brings changes 
which are not particularly advances. The word relevance has had such a his- 
tory. The meaning which is listed in most dictionaries as "obsolete" or "rare" 
is the one which comes closest to the highest meaning of the word. Our Eng- 
lish word relevance comes from the Old French, which was in turn derived 
from the past participle of the Latin word relevare meaning to "lift up again, 
lighten, relieve." Hence, it came to mean "help, assist." That which is really 
relevant, therefore, is that which really lifts up the true meaning of any situa- 
tion and offers help in k, in terms not of the apparent but of the actual 
realities of the situation. And, just as in the case of the slag slide, the most 
significant aspect of the actual situation may not be present to the conscious- 
aess of those involved. Hence, true relevance can not be limited to that which 
men will at the moment accept as significant. 

The danger in the current quest for relevance, particularly in preaching, 
lies right here. Either the Bible is by-passed for a quick word of our own 
which seems to speak immediately to "where the action is," or k is used 


superficially by seizing upon certain of its features which we have decided 
beforehand are relevant. But as James Barr has pointed out in his recent 
work, Old and Netv in Interpretation (London: SCM Press, 1966), relevance 
"cannot work as a guide to interpretation before the interpretation is done. 
Only after we have worked on the meaning of the Bible can we tell in what 
way it is relevant. . . . Any attempt to judge relevance at the beginning of 
our study must only perpetuate the value systems we previously accepted. 
Where this is so, the relevance conception works like tradition in the nega- 
tive sense" (pp. 192f). 

If there is any unique word of God in the Bible, perhaps listening for it 
may help us to define what is relevant and help us to speak to needs of men 
which may go deeper than their felt needs and enable them to sort out the 
ultimate issues of life and death which often lurk hidden beneath the more 
dramatic and apparent crises of their everyday life. 

Another danger of the current cry for relevance is that it may ultimately 
become self-defeating. A desire for easy and quick relevance tends to by-pass 
the long, slow discipline of study. This tends to foster an anti-intellectualism 
which in the pulpit results in easily understood homilies pointedly applied 
in a moralistic fashion, becoming little more than sophisticated exhortation, 
and in the administrative wing of the church places the highest priority on 
program and polity. This anti-intellectualism tends to becom.e sterile, for 
people grow indifferent to repeated exhortation to behavior they do not want 
to indulge m without biblical and theological grounds to do so. Furthermore, 
this procedure does not challenge the best young minds of the church who 
are tempted, therefore, to by-pass the church as irrelevant. Hence the anti- 
intellectual effect toward immediate relevance often results in an ultimate 
irrelevance which is self-defeating. If the church is to be truly relevant, it 
must keep vigorously bound to the biblical, theological, and historical dis- 
ciplines which themselves help to determine what is relevant and at the 
same time give a depth and solidity to the church which lifts up the true 
meaning of the human situation and kindles the undying hope that the God 
who has committed Himself to man in the history of Israel and in the in- 
carnation of Jesus Christ will never withdraw that commitment. 

— D. G. M. 

Theology as the Mind's Worship 

^}' Gordon D. Kaufman 

The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God 
tvith all thy heart, and luith all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and ivith all 
thy strength. ( Mark 12:29-30.) 

Thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God with all thy mind." This is a 
very curious and uncommon com- 
bination of words. To love God with 
your whole heart: yes, that is com- 
prehensible, for the heart is the very 
seat of the emotions, the center from 
which love flows. Love God with 
your whole soul: this reenforces the 
previous imperative by making the 
love of God a demand laid not only 
on the emotions but on the whole 
self, the total personality. Love God 
with all your strength: this would 
seem to make the command com- 
plete and all-inclusive; our whole 
being is to be given over in ail its 
energies to the love of God; every 
power within us in every moment is 
to be exerted to its utmost capacity 
in his service. Nothing is left over; 
nothing is left out. What, then, is 
the meaning of that extra command 
which seems to be included already 
in the others: thou shalt love the 
Lord thy God with all thy mind? 

It is not often, I suppose, that we 
associate love with the mind. The 

mind is that capacity of the self to 
be cold and calculating, objeaive and 
scientific. What has it to do with 
warmth and self -giving and love? It 
is the mind which is the source of 
questioning and doubt and skepti- 
cism, those great destroyers of that 
simple child-like faith to which we 
aspire. Above all, \i is in the activi- 
ties of the miind that the self de- 
mands full autonomy in determining 
its own course, indeed, in judging the 
very namre of Truth. When the mind 
submits to external authority Ix. does 
so grudgingly and sullenly and only 
under some foreign compulsion. How 
then can the mind bow down and 
worship God and yet remain itself? 
Is h not man's reason, man's insis- 
tence on being his own authority, 
that is the very mark of human arro- 
gance and rebellion against God? 
Was it not, after all, desire for the 
fruit of the tree of knowledge that 
misled our first parents? Surely the 
proper attitude of Christian faith 
toward human reason must be that 
of fear and even of enmity. Before 

Gordon Kaufman is Professor of Systematic Theology at Harvard Divinity School. 


the faith which we have is destroyed 
by a doubtful inteliectualism should 
we not, in Luther's words, "grasp 
reason by the throat and strangle the 


"Thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God with all thy mind." I suppose 
part of our difficulty in immediately 
seeing what might be involved here 
lies in our understanding of the term 
love. Despite such biblical and theo- 
logical training as many of us may 
have had, all of us, I suspect, con- 
tinue to think of love as somehow 
primarily connected with the emo- 
tions, with sex, or at least with the 
will — and not with the mind. And 
because of these preconceptions lying 
hidden somewhere in the back of our 
minds, it is difficult for us to think 
out very clearly what it might mean 
to talk of the mind — the intellect, the 
reason — as loving. But if by love we 
mean a kind of all-absorbing self- 
giving devotion of the self to the 
object of love, the turning of atten- 
tion and concern and interest away 
from the self and focusing it instead on 
that beyond the self to which the self 
is given — and this conception is not 
too far from the kind of self-giving 
known in the New Testament as 
agape — then it begins to become ap- 
parent that love is not an inappro- 
priate term to apply to the activity 
of the mind. For authentic intellec- 

tual activity is always characterized 
by a devotion to the object, by a radi- 
cal disinterest in the desires of the 
self, as the mind subjects itself to the 
true nature of the object. Consider 
the scientist in his laboratory, work- 
ing all hours of the night, completely 
forgetful of his own needs for sleep 
or food because of the consuming 
excitement of the experiment he is 
conducting. Consider the mathema- 
tician on the verge of the solution of 
a problem with no conceivable prac- 
tical applications, so engrossed in his 
search for truth that he cannot pause 
for rest or relaxation. Consider the 
scholar working long hours with 
dusty tomes in the library, seeking 
the solution to some obscure, and, to 
most of us, meaningless, question 
about the nature of family relation- 
ships in some pre-literate tribe. In 
each of these cases we find a man so 
given to the object over against him 
that the normal needs of the self are 
almost completely forgotten. Or bet- 
ter, in all these cases the natural needs 
of the self have become transmuted 
into something new and different by 
an all-consuming passion, a great 
love, for something other than the 
self: for the true nature of the object 
being studied. 

The mind, as Augustine long ago 
realized, and as the Freudians and 
the sociologists of knowledge have 
lately reminded us, does not select 
the objects of its investigations with 
complete objectivity, directing its 


penetrating gaze on every aspect of 
the universe equally and impartially. 
On the contrary, the mind in its 
choice of objects to study and to 
know is always guided by the inter- 
ests, the passions, the loves of the 
self to whom it belongs. Thus one 
man becomes a biologist, another an 
historian, and a third a philosopher, 
not because truth is intrinsically 
greater or more readily available in 
one or the other of these fields of 
study, but because his particular in- 
terests direct his pursuit of truth in a 
particular direction. It is the love of 
the self for this or that object, for 
this or that kind of knowledge, and 
the consequent willingness of the 
self to sacrifice all in the pursuit of 
this pearl of great price, on which 
the very life of the mind depends. 
The work of the mind is rooted not 
only in the eros of Plato, the self- 
centered desire for beauty and truth 
born of the union of poverty and 
plenty; it depends equally, even 
more, on the self's act of disinter- 
ested self-sacrifice and self-giving in 
behalf of the object loved; it is 
rooted in agape. And any person un- 
willing to make this kind of sacri- 
fice of self for the object of knowl- 
edge will never know the joy of 
beholding truth. 


The commandment which we 
are considering, however, is not a 

commandment simply to seek truth 
in general, to give ourselves in the 
pursuit of any kind of knowledge 
whatsoever. It is the very specific 
commandment to love God with our 
minds, to give ourselves without 
reservation in intellective response 
to Him, to make Him the object and 
the center of all our thinking. How 
is this possible? What is really re- 
quired of us here? 

Perhaps we can more readily see 
what claim is here laid on us if we 
first examine some of the ways in 
which we seek to evade it and thus 
are disobedient, with our minds, to 
the commandment. I do not care to 
dv/ell on the very obvious kinds of 
intellectual disobedience in which 
some of us engage much of the time 
and in which we all engage some of 
the time. Every catalog of sins con- 
tains the names of idols to which our 
minds, in the movement of our 
thought and contemplation, have 
been attracted and before which, 
upon occasion, they have bowed 
down in love and worship. But every 
preacher knows these ways of dis- 
obedience involving not only the 
mind but the whole self, and there is 
no need to rehearse them here. 

More appropriate for our con- 
sideration are the specific kinds of 
disobedience to God peculiar to the 
intellect. It is not difficult to find a 
general definition of what such dis- 
obedience will consist in. Just as we 
refuse to obey God when we refuse 


to direct our wills in service to Him, 
so we disobey God when we refuse 
to use our minds to think Him and 
to think about Him. For to love God 
with our minds is to make Him the 
object of our thought. 

There are several ways in which 
this disobedience may manifest itself. 
One of the most common, perhaps, is 
an expression of what we may take 
to be humility. To think about God 
— to theologize — that after all is a 
task more than a match for the great- 
est of human intellects. Who is able 
to hold the almighty God, the Crea- 
tor of the heavens and the earth in 
his mind.'* 

Have you not known? Have you not 
Has it not been told you from the 

Have you not understood from the 
foundations of the earth? 
It is he who sits above the circle of 
the earth, 
and its inhabitants are like grass- 
who stretches out the heavens like a 
and spreads them like a tent to 
diuell in; 
who brings princes to nought, 

and makes the rulers of the earth 
as nothing. 

Who has directed the Spirit of the 

or as his counselor has instructed 
Who did he consult for his enlight- 
and who taught him the path of 
justice, , 

and taught him knowledge, ^ 

and showed him the way of under- 
Behold, the nations are like a drop 
from a bucket, 
and are accounted as the dust on 

the scales; 
behold, he takes tip the isles like 
fine dust. 
Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, 
nor are its beasts enough for a 
burnt offering. 
All the nations are as nothing before 
they are accounted by him as less 
than nothing and emptiness. 
To ivhoin then will you liken God, 
or what likeness compare with 

Before this almighty God, is not the 
only appropriate attitude the closing 
of the eyes and the bowing of the 
head? Is it not the utmost arrogance 
to seek to think this God with our 
puny minds.'* Should we not simply 
serve Him in all humility as befits 
our humble station before Him 
rather than engage in sophisticated 
intellectual distinctions about his 
nature and attributes? Certainly the 
latter — if It is necessary at all, which 
we may sincerely doubt — can be left 

* Isaiah 40:21-23, 13-18. 


to other and more powerful intellects 
than ours, and we will engage in the 
humbler everyday work of the 

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God 
with all thy mind." The comm.and 
comes back to us again. It will not 
let us escape in our cloud of excuses 
that our humble station, surely, ex- 
empts us from seeking to think God 
with the feeble powers of our minds. 
This command was not directed 
merely to the scribes, the professional 
theologians, of Jesus' time. This com- 
mand is directed to us all. We are 
all to theologize. We are all to de- 
vote our mental powers, such as they 
are, in love to God. Even if we have 
only one talent, to bury it in the 
earth is to be disobedient to this al- 
mighty God. Far from true humility 
in the face of God's glory, such dis- 
obedience is but another form of 
assertion of self, of pride, of sin, of 
self-idolatry. We have no excuses. 
We must seek to think God what- 
ever be our intellectual capacity. God 
does not require that the man with 
one talent produce ten; but neither 
does He exempt the man with one 
talent from using that one in His 

If our humility gives us no exemp- 
tion from the theological task, we 
often find another way of escape. 
Surely God did not intend all men to 
be theologians. On the contrary, there 
is a diversity of gifts. "Some should 
be apostles, some prophets, some 

evangelists, some pastors and teach- 
ers" (Eph. 4: 11), and, perhaps, some 
theologians; but there must be a 
vocational division here in accord- 
ance with aptitudes and interests. If 
all men tried to be theologians, then, 
besides increasing the already-too- 
large store of bad theology, the other 
tasks of the church would not get 
done. As for me, we may say, I am 
called to be a preacher, or a church 
administrator, or a counselor, not a 
theologian. The theological task I 
will leave to the professionals. I do 
not expect the theologians to inter- 
fere with my work, and I will not 
interfere with theirs. 

Here again is a common enough 
attitude, and one which seems plau- 
sible on the surface. But it is one 
which involves both a mistaken con- 
ception of theology (as we shall see 
in a moment), and, far worse, dis- 
obedience to the commandment to 
love God with our minds. For surely 
our work in church administration or 
pastoral counseling, in preaching or 
teaching, must be done for one pur- 
pose only: in the service of God's 
will. None of these tasks are suffi- 
cient unto themselves, containing 
their ends in themselves. All are for 
Him, in service and love to Him. We 
are never justified, then, in carrying 
out our day-to-day tasks without a 
continual reference, always implicit, 
and often explicit, to that One whom 
we are serving. We must always have 
before ourselves the question whether 



in fact this work we are doing is 
serving the God and Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ — or whether it is 
serving some other god. And this 
requires thinking — good, hard think- 
ing. For, as the passage from Isaiah 
which we read a moment ago sug- 
gested, the God whom we are seek- 
ing to serve cannot be hkened to any- 
thing in ail creation. He is One who 
must be distinguished in all respects 
from anything and everything in our 
limited, finite existence and experi- 
ence. To suppose that his nature and 
his will can be properly discerned 
without the utmost exercise of our 
mental powers is sheer blasphemy. 
We cannot serve Him in our day-to- 
day work without striving continu- 
ously to think Him, whom we seek 
to serve, with our minds, for it is our 
thinking after all, that guides us in 
our work whatever particular tasks 
may be ours. We must love the Lord 
our God with our whole mind — we 
must theologize — if we are going to 
love the Lord our God with our 
whole soul. 

The kind of disobedience of the 
divine command which emerged as 
an expression of supposed humility 
was the opposite of this disobedience 
which emerges from the Protestant 
doctrine of vocation. In the former 
case we sought refuge from the im- 
perative to theologize by pleading 
our lack of capacity in the face of 
the overwhelming majesty of God. 
In the latter we seek to avoid the 

theological task by the audacious 
supposition that God's will and work 
for us can be so easily discerned that 
it requires no mental effort on our 
part. In the iirst case we sought our 
own way rather than God's under 
cover of the plea of humility; in the 
second, we seek our own way rather 
than God's in the blatant and open 
claim that the mystery of God's holy 
nature and will is so transparent to 
us that we need not think at all. In 
neither case are we obeying the com- 
mand to love God with our whole 

There is a third kind of disobedi- 
ence of the divine command which 
occurs in peculiar refraction from 
the two which we have just noted. It 
is the disobedience which is espe- 
cially the sin of professional theo- 
logians. It is the disobedience into 
which we may fall headlong as we 
flee from the refusal to use our minds 
in thought about God directly into 
theological work, the explicit attempt 
to think Him and to think about 
Him. In some ways this is the most 
vicious kind of disobedience of all, 
because it arises directly out of our 
supposed obedience, out of our theol- 
ogizing. The more, I suppose, we 
attempt to love God with our minds 
through devoting much time and 
effort and thought to defining care- 
fully his nature and attributes and 
will, the more we are in danger of 
supposing that with our thinking we 
have indeed grasped the Divine 



Being. The more profoundly and 
comprehensively v/e may be able to 
set forth who this God who makes 
himself known to us in the Bible 
truly is, the more easily our thinking 
and attitude may become informed 
by that especially offensive kind of 
theological arrogance and pride that 
insists I have the truth about God, 
and those who disagree with me are 

Here, again, we are disobedient to 
the command to love God with our 
minds, and instead we come to love 
our own ideas about God with all 
our minds. We become so entranced 
with the sense of authority which it 
gives us to be able to speak the truth, 
as we think, about the very Creator 
of the universe, and so intrigued with 
the subtle and sophisticated distinc- 
tions which we find ourselves mak- 
ing, that we forget that after all the 
objective of our thinking is not the 
demonstration of our own intellec- 
tual power and subtlety, but is the 
worship and love of God. And so 
through the apparent pursuit of the 
theological task itself we fall into a 
self-idolatry of the mind at least as 
pernicious as the self- idolatries re- 
sulting from the rebellious refusal to 


"Thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God with all thy mind." We have 
not yet discovered the way in which 

this command can be rightly fulfilled, 
but surely our growing awareness of 
the difficulties has not left us entirely 
without any sense of its meaning. It 
must be clear that whatever are the 
dangers of the theological enterprise, 
the mind's love of God must at least 
involve trying to think Him and to 
think of Him with whatever intel- 
lectual powers He has given us; no 
false humility or vocational special- 
ization can exempt us from the theo- 
logical task. It remains to see what is 
involved in this theological work that 
is laid upon all of us who would 
obey our Lord's commandment. How 
then do we love and worship God 
with our minds? 

The presupposition, and there- 
fore the first moment, of the mind's 
worship, as of all worship, must be 
thanksgiving. We must be thankful 
for our creation: that is, for God's 
having made us as we are, creamres 
with reason and intelligence, crea- 
tures who have the capacity to think 
and to know. And we must be thank- 
ful for our salvation: that is, for 
God's not having left us in our think- 
ing to the devices of our own minds 
but for his revealing himself to us, 
making k possible for these minds 
of ours in some measure to know 
Him. The moment of thanksgiving, 
then, with which the mind's worship 
must begin, is the movement through 
which the mind gathers up its ener- 
gies in the effort to devote all of its 
powers to thinking of God. This will 



be no true thanksgiving for the mind, 
and for God as the true object of the 
mind, if we enter it half-heartedly or 
with hesitanq^. With all the joyous- 
ness and the thrill that the mind can 
know in its pursuit of truth, and 
with all the discipline that is re- 
quired to keep us working on the 
most difficult problems, we must seek 
to think — logically, creatively, freely, 
comprehensively, systematically — of 
God's holy nature and will. For it is 
in this act of thinking, and only in 
this act of thinking, that we truly 
give thanks to God for making us 
creatures who can think and who 
can come to know Him. 

The second moment of this the 
mind's worship — and surely this is 
inseparable from the first — must be 
a moment of penitence and confes- 
sion. It must be a moment of aware- 
ness of our shortcomings, our fail- 
ures, to fulfill the comm.and to love 
God v/ith our whole mind. How, 
then, does the mind repent? Peni- 
tence here cannot consist in refusing 
to think, through, for example, try- 
ing to force ourselves to believe this 
or that doctrine taught, as we believe, 
by our church or by the Bible, when 
we have found ourselves secretly 
doubting its truth. No, such an act 
would belie the moment of thanks- 
giving for our creation with minds 
which have the ability to question 
and doubt and judge for themselves. 

Our penitence, then, must itself be an 
act of affirmation in thankfulness for 
our reason, must itself be an act of 
thinking. Our penitence is that mo- 
ment in our thought in which we 
recognize explicitly and openly that 
all our thinking, even — nay, espe- 
cially! — our thinking about God is 
infected with our own self interest, 
our own desires, our own pride, that 
instead of opening ourselves to the 
divine revelation we find ourselves 
defending the traditions of our par- 
ticular denomination, or the ideolo- 
gies of our particular social or eco- 
nomic or political group, as though 
they were nothing less than God's 
own truth. Our moment of penitence 
is the moment in which we recognize 
that we are continually guilty of con- 
fusing our thought of God with God 
Himself, and thus that we always fall 
into the sin of loving ourselves with 
our minds rather than God. 

¥or my thoughts are not your 
neither are your ways my ways, 
says the Lord. 
For as the heavens are higher than 
the earth, 
so are my ways higher than your 
ways and my thoughts than 
your thoughts* 

This moment of repentance and 
confession through which we become 
aware again that our thinking is after 
all our thinking, and not to be con- 

Isaiah 55:8-9. 



fused with God's, that we are on 
earth and He is in heaven, is the 
moment in which we come to grasp 
more fully what true theologizing — 
loving God intellectually — is. We 
have already noted the sins of the 
mind which must be continually con- 
fessed: they are the opposite sins of 
either seeking to avoid the theolog- 
ical task entirely in a false humility 
or supposed necessity of specializa- 
tion, or, at the other extreme, of 
exalting the technical-professional 
theological enterprise itself as though 
it were the very thinking and being 
of God. But each of these sins, after 
all, rests on the view that theologiz- 
ing, thinking of God, the mind's love 
of God, is a particular kind of tech- 
nical activity carried on by profes- 
sionals who are called theologians. 
And this is a false view, fostered and 
perpetuated by the sinful collusion of 
theologians and anti-theologians, both 
of whom are seeking to disobey 
God's command. 

For theologizing is nothing but, to 
borrow a term popularized by Paul 
Tillich, theonomous thinking. It is, 
certainly, thinking — hard, rigorous, 
logical thinking. It is not mere opin- 
ing or dreaming or conjecturing. It 
involves the application of the mind 
with all its powers under the strong- 
est discipline to which we are cap- 
able of subjecting it. But it is think- 
ing theonomously, that is, thinking 
in the light of God's revelation of 
himself and his nature and his will, 

thinking in awareness of the fact that 
God is God and that we are men, 
that God is the Creator and we are 
his creatures who have been set on 
this earth with specific tasks to per- 
form. To think theonomously is not 
to suppose that the professional theo- 
logical task is the whole, or even the 
most important, of the human mind's 
tasks. Indeed, such a supposition 
would involve another idolatry, the 
self-idolatry of theology. To think 
theonomously is to recognize that no 
particular human task is in some spe- 
cial way God's favorite, that indeed 
this whole world and all of the work 
in it is God's and God's alone. He 
gives each task its true meaning and 
He it is who calls man to its per- 
formance, whether the work be that 
of preaching or teaching, farming or 
making shoes. To think theonom- 
ously is to see all of creation and all 
the work going on therein as God's 
work being carried out in the ful- 
fillment of his holy purposes. To 
think theonomously, then, is not to 
think exclusively about God; rather, 
it is to think about the specific tasks 
and problems of this life which have 
been given us as our special tasks 
and problems, and to think rigorously 
and logically and in disciplined fash- 
ion about just these tasks and prob- 
lems and no others — but to do this 
thinking always with the almighty 
God as the ultimate referent, to do 
it always searching for his will, his 
purposes, and not simply for our own 



or for those which we might suppose 
can be discerned as immanent in the 
tasks themselves. 

To be sure, there is a professional 
theological task, too. It is the task of 
seeking to define and refine with as 
great precision as possible — utilizing 
all available biblical and historical 
aids — our understanding of this One 
who must be the ultimpte referent in 
all our thinking, and the relation of 
this God to us men. And it must be 
said also that ii thinking in other 
areas — in our political life, in our 
economic life, in church administra- 
tion and pastoral counseling — is to 
be theonomous, it cannot be carried 
on without a continuous dialogue 
with those whose entire intellectual 
effort is devoted to technical theol- 
ogy. It is important therefore — and 
especially for anyone in the ministry 
• — for all of us to keep reading and 
conversing with those whose work is 
directly and explicitly theological if 
we are going to love God with our 
minds in the particular areas of life, 
the specific work, which he has 
assigned each of us. But the converse 
must also be said. The technical 
theologian ceases thinking theonom- 
ously, and thus he ceases thinking 
theologically, the moment he forgets 
that his task is but one of many tasks 
which men are called to perform 
here on earth, the moment he fails to 
see it in its proper place as the work 
he has been called to do alongside the 
carpenter and the business man. It is 

not enough for him to engage only 
in the intramural conversation with 
the various branches of theology or 
even the various offices of the minis- 
try. He, too, must keep in continuous 
conversation with all those others of 
God's children doing the world's 
work with little or no contact with 
professional theology, lest his own 
theology become self-idolatrous and 
thereby non-theological. 

When our mind's moment of con- 
fession that we and our thinking are 
not God and God's thinking becomes 
real penitence before God, and we 
are truly enabled to think of our- 
selves and our tasks in this life 
theonomously, that is, theologically, 
then we have been brought to the 
beginning of the third moment of 
the mind's worship of God: the re- 
dedication made possible by the re- 
demption and renewal of the mind 
which, it is our faith, God himself 
grants us. Here, once again, we must 
not make the mistake of thinking 
that our act of worship, in this case 
our act of reded ication, will be any- 
thing other than an act of thinking. 
For if it were to be such, our thank- 
fulness that God has created us with 
minds that can think would be called 
into question, and our penitence for 
refusing to accept our creaturely 
status and use our minds in theol- 
ogizing would be confuted. Our re- 
dedication, then, will be nothing but 
our renewed attempt to follow 
through with ever more consistent 



logic and ever more persistent dis- 
cipline the exercise of the powers of 
our minds. We will do so, now, of 
course, with greater awareness and 
clearer consciousness that we who are 
thinking are creatures of the God and 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; we 
will do so, therefore, with greater 
awareness of the limitations under 
which our thinking is carried on. But 
since our thinking now will be 
carried on in clearer consciousness of 
the One who loves us and redeems 
both us and our thought, we will 
have a deeper sense of its true mean- 
ing and significance as a dimension 
of our work in and for God's king- 
dom. For we will remember that our 
thinking is not simply the servant of 
ourselves and is not pursued for it- 
self alone, but is a part of our wor- 
ship of God, a gift and a sacrifice 
which we oflfer to him and which he 
will surely accept and will redeem 
through giving it a significant place 
in the building of his Kingdom. 


We have considered three mo- 
ments of the mind's worship of God, 
through which the mind seeks to 
obey the commandment to love God 
absolutely. It must be apparent, of 
course, that these three moments do 
not follow each other in chronologi- 
cal succession. Rather, these are 
simply the three dimensions or ele- 
ments which must be present when- 

ever we truly theologize, that is, 
whenever we truly love God in and 
through our thought. To be thankful 
in our thinking is nothing else than 
authentic thinking — that is, thinking 
as God created us to think, thinking 
as creatures before God. To be peni- 
tent in our thinking, is also nothing 
else than authentic thinking — this 
time through painfully turning away 
from that tendency to exalt ourselves 
rather than God in our thought, from 
that fatal desire of ours not to ac- 
knowledge our creatureliness. To re- 
dedicate our thinking is, once again, 
nothing else than authentic thinking 
— this time because of God's own 
renewing of our minds actually turn- 
ing to the tasks in this world which 
God has given us, and thinking them 
through in the light of his holy na- 
ture and will. Each of these is but a 
dififerent way of saying the same 
thing: God has given us, his crea- 
tures, minds, and He has called us as 
his creatures to exercise our minds 
in thinking. To love God with our 
minds is, then, to utilize the powers 
of our minds through strenuous 
thought, but always in this conscious- 
ness of our creatureliness; in short, it 
is to think theologically at all times 
and with all our strength. 

I conclude with a prayer of An- 
selm of Canterbury, one who has 
much to teach us about thinking 

Lord . . . Be it mine to look up 




to thy light, even from afar, even 
from the depths. Teach me to seek 
thee, and reveal thyself to m^e, when 
I seek thee, for I cannot seek thee, 
except thou teach me, nor find thee, 
except thou reveal thyself. Let me 
seek thee in longing, let me long for 
thee in seeking; let me find thee in 
love, and love thee in finding. Lord, 
I acknowledge and I thank thee that 
thou hast created me in this thine 
image, in order that I may he mind- 
ful of thee, may conceive of thee, and 
love thee; but that image has been so 
consumed and wasted away by vices, 

and obscured by the smoke of wrong- 
doing, that it cannot achieve that for 
which it was made, except thou re- 
new it, and create it anew. I do not 
endeavor, O Lord, to penetrate thy 
sublimity, for in no wise do I com- 
pare my understanding with that; but 
I long to understand in some degree 
thy truth, which my heart believes 
and loves. For I do not seek to under- 
stand that I may believe, but I be- 
lieve in order to understand. For this 
also I believe— that unless I believed, 
I should not understand. Amen. 

"The torture allotted to the Danaids in the classical underworld, 
that of attempting to fill sieves with water, is the symbol not of one 
vice but of all vices. It is the very mark of a perverse desire that it 
seeks what is not to be had." 

S. Lewis, The Inner Ring. 

/ You are This 

A Communion Sermon 
by David A. MacLennan 

Open Thy Word to our hearts, God, and our hearts to Thy love, that 
we may know Thee better and love Thee more, in Jesus Christ our Lord. 


Now you are together the body of Christ, and individually you are mem- 
bers of Him. 1 Corinthians 12:27 (J. B. Phillips). 

All of us are aware, and some of us are excited by radical theology in 
our time. It is an expression of the "revolt against God" in our society. In- 
creasing the confusion is the fact that some of the "Death-of-God" theologians 
retain a deep attachment for Jesus of Nazareth, even when one of them de- 
fines Him as location, a stance, a style. It is a kind of Unitarianism of the 
Second Person of the Trinity. But with the attachment to the person and the 
ethics of Jesus it is a repudiation of the Church. "Religionless Christianity," 
yes; any institutional expression of Christianity, no. 

This would puzzle the Apostle Paul, and it disturbs many today who 
share Paul's high Christology. For Paul, as you well know, believed that the 
Church was integral to Christian faith. (President Donald Miller made us aU 
his debtors by his clear, convincing exposition of this truth in his book of a 
few years ago on The Nature and Function of the Church.) Paul not only 
spoke of the Church as the ecclesia, the gathering of all who love and obey 
Christ, but called the Church by the greatest of titles, "the Body of Christ." 
Writing to the young Church in Corinth, in the twelfth chapter of our first 
letter to the Corinthians, he declares: "For by the one Spirit we have all been 
baptized in such a way as to become one body, whether we be Jews or Greeks, 
whether we be slaves or free men, and that one Spirit was poured out for all 
of us to drink." Then he proceeds to grvQ his famous picture of the unity of 
the Church. It is the picture of the Church as a body. A body consists of many 
parts, but it is an essential tmity. Plato pointed out that we do not say, "My 
finger has a pain," but rather, "I have a pain." There is an I, a personality, 

David A. Mac Lennan, D.D., Litt.D., is senior minister of the Brick Presbyterian 
Church, Rochester, New York. 



which gives unity to the many different parts of the body. As the personality 
controls and uses the body, so Christ controls and uses the Church. 

Then Paul makes v/hat is really an astounding statement. We may have 
become so familiar with it that its quality has been dulled for us. "You," he 
says to the very ordinary, frequently blundering and sinning men and women, 
"Now you are the body of Christ/' You are this! 

Since His resurrection and exaltation, Jesus Christ is no longer oper- 
ating in the world in the body which was His in the days of His human life. 
If He wants a task done, a cause supported, His truth embodied. He must 
find a man, a woman, to do it. If He wants to have a sick person cured, a 
child or adult taught, peace created among warring nations, He must find 
physicians, surgeons, teachers, statesmen, and more pedestrian souls to do 
these things. The old verse is not deathless poetry, but it expresses deep truth: 

He has no hands hut our hands 

To do His ivork today; 
He has no feet but our feet 

To lead men in His way, 
He has no voice but our voice 

To tell men how He died, 
He has no help but our help 

To lead the^ii to His side. 

This should he something to make us catch our breath in wonder: that we — 
you and I and folks like us — are part of the living body of Christ upon this 

But anyone aware of the Secular City knows that many people who are 
responsive to Christ, to His ethic at least, whether they are allergic to what 
is called His "God-talk," find the Church irrelevant, trivial, expendable, and 
even a reactionary hindrance to a more Christlike world. Some of the fierce 
critics of institutional Christianity — "the religious establishment" — undoubt- 
edly are persons of sincere Christian commitment. Some affirm their belief 
in the mystical body of Christ, the dispersed company of disciples of Christ. 
Nevertheless, it is when the mystical Body of Christ takes "a local habitation 
and a name" that they bridle and revolt. The core of their criticism is that 
the congregation, especially in comfortable urban and suburban communities, 
is self-concerned and ingrown, devoting nearly all of its resources to its own 
interests, ministering only "to the domestic tides of life, not concerned with 
the secular realm v/here the most important decisions are being made, not 

^ YOU ARE THIS " 19 

identifying itself with the disadvantaged people who are struggling for 
needed changes in society, not trying to be a community of reconciliation be- 
tween different social and racial strata."^ That this is the view of a significant 
number may be indicated by the recent survey. This indicates that only one 
third of theological students want to devote themselves to what is called "the 
typical residential church." Of course, when such Christians choose other 
forms of Christian ministry, they do not repudiate or deny the Body of Christ. 
To paraphrase the Apostle's words, "God has appointed in the church some 
to be messengers, secondly, some to be preachers of power (whether in First 
Church, Metropolis, or Main Street Church, East Cupcake, South Dakota); 
then workers of spiritual power in storefront churches, then Council of 
Churches executive secretaries for the inner city work; some to be seminary 
and college professors and administrators, some board and agency staff mem- 
bers, some radio and television specialists, some college chaplains and presi- 
dents; some military chaplains; some to be journalists and editors; some to be 
physicians, surgeons, nurses, agriculturists in Christ's Peace Corp. ..." 

A recent issue of the m.agazine Look gave a profile of what the senior 
editor calls "The Open Generation," comprising some twenty-five million 
young Americans. "These . . . began life in a tumult of affluence and change 
— incredible family, scientific and educational change." "They're religious,"' 
writes Jack Shepherd, "but they tend to reject organized religion. Some 
eighty-six per cent say they believe in God or a Supreme Being. Seventy- 
seven per cent go to church or synagogue once a month. Some fifty-five per 
cent say their religious belief is getting stronger." Strangely, they cite the 
"God is Dead" controversy as one reason for strengthened religious belief. 
. . . Says Dennis Duffy, of Boston, "I believe God is a belief, not a 'Hello- 
Reverend Jones-baby-switchboard.' . . . But most of them would not go to 
church if their parents didn't push them. Faith, they argue, is personal and 
not tied to institutional religion. One boy says he likes church best when 
there are no people in it."- 

All of us here today, who are reasonably literate theologically, may share 
a similar dim view of the Church in its institutional expression, but from a 
more intellectual level. We may cite Dr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, understandably 
the twentieth century martyr-saint-theologian, and his emphasis on religion- 
less Christianity. Certainly some of his writings show that he blasted the 
church of the 1930's and 1940's, as he knew the church in Germany, and as 

^Editorial by Samuel McCrea Cavert in Pulpit Digest, September 1966, pp. 9, 10. 
■^Look. September 20, 1966, pp. 29, AA. 


he sampled it during his graduate year at Union Seminary, New York. In his 
letters he did reveal his vision of a new kind of secular Christianity, preach- 
ing the Gospel of Jesus, "the man for others," and using a ""non-religious 
interpretation of Biblical concepts." But those who knew him personally, and 
who are competent to assess his thoughts, assure us that ""the kind of worldly 
holiness that he proposed for modern Christians took for granted the neces- 
sity of the Church, the sacraments, and inner spiritual discipline." Had he 
lived, it is possible that he would have worked out his radical theology in 
firm commitment to church doctrine. The latest translation of one of his 
manuscripts, his 1932 lectures entitled Christ the Center, shows him to have 
held a high doctrine of the Church.^ When he faced the question, "What is 
Jesus Christ?" he was led to give three answers: "Word," "Sacrament," and 

In another context St. Paul asked early Christians, "Do you despise the 
Church of God?" (1 Cor. 11:22). True, he puts the question because of the 
unchristlike behaviour of Christians in respect to their fellow Christians and 
because of their disunity and misconduct in Church meetings and at the 
Lord's Supper. (NEB translates: ""Are you so contemptuous of the Church of 
God that you shame its poorer members?") 

Of course in the morning years of the Christian movement there were 
no church buildings as such. The "church-house" was the norm. It is also 
true, as a New Testament scholar has said, that "In the New Testament the 
Church is always a company of worshipping people who have given their 
hearts and pledged their lives to Jesus Christ."* 

( 1 ) Nevertheless, ideas, as George Eliot said, even the noblest ideas, 
are poor ghosts. Ours is the religion of the Incarnation. The living, unseen 
Lord must he embodied, first in the fellowship of those who acknowledge 
Him to he Supreme, their Lord, God in a human life; then using visihle in- 
stitutions, which ever need renewal and restructuring. The Church does not 
just resemble a body, it is Jesus Christ's body!' 

(2) Again, as the body of Christ, the Church has Christ for its Head. 
Without the body the Head is helpless. Without the Head the body is with- 
out a mind, without direction, without control. "He is the head of the Body, 
the Church," is the New Testament claim. (Col. 1:18). When we say this 
we are saying that the Church cannot live without Jesus Christ and Jesus 

^See Preface to this work, by Edwin H. Robertson. 

*William Barclay, The Mind of St. Paul, page 238, British edition published by Col- 


Christ cannot work out His plans in the world without the Church. 

The implications of this picture and this reality are startling. We need 
each other. There is no such thing as isolation or rampant individualism in 
the healthy church. The Body must realize its unity in Christ and obey Christ's 
will. Every Christian must take a whole Christ for His Saviour and a whole 
Church for His community and a whole world for his field of operations. 
Need I remind everyone that so often we settle for so much less? For 
several years my office at a certain School of the Prophets in a place called 
New Haven was next door to Halford Luccock, now making saints much 
jollier in Heaven. He tried out some of his sparkling insights on me. Later, 
some appeared in his "Simeon Stylites" columns in the Christian Century. I 
remember one, about a lackadaisical little congregation on a summer Sunday 
dragging the Church-militant hymn, "Onward Christian Soldiers." They 
moaned the words "Onward then ye people, join this happy throng." Hal 
said as he looked around, "There were three things wrong. First, they were 
not a throng; second, they did not look happy; and thirdly, they acted as if 
they didn't care whether anyone loved them or not." 

To be a Christian is to be a member of Christ, the body, however hum- 
ble, or weak, or ineffectual, or sinful. To be in the body of Christ is to be 
involved in Christ's life and death and resurrection. We become even more 
deeply involved through baptism and the Lord's supper, through our style 
of life and our involvement in Christ's kind of program in today's world. 
This is to be "where the action is" — God's redemptive action. To be "in 
Christ" is to be absurdly happy, to be in a glorious throng, moving onward 
through all the world in obedience to Him. "Now you — are — the Body of 

Notes on the Practice of The New Morality 

by Elwyn a. Smith 


In his well-informed and 
CLEAR ARTICLE Professor Long has 
expounded the new morality as it is 
understood by its scholars (cf. last 
issue of Perspective). I will com- 
ment on its practice. 

Let us first distinguish "what's-the- 
harm-in-it?" morality, which is a 
morality of weakened rules and by 
no means new, from the legitimate 
concern for a general structure of 
liuman conduct, personal and social, 
that is focused on the welfare of per- 
sons (rather than institutions, for 
example) and therefore merciful, yet 
constructive and socially responsible. 
From the Christian point of view 
the new morality is dominantly re- 
sponsive to the doctrine of grace, 
which transforms law. St. Paul's 
teachings on the freedom of the new 
life in Christ is the biblical ground 
of the new morality. 

The shape of the new morality 
thus takes the shape of one's theo- 
logical thinking on grace and law. 
This is no new problem to Christian 
thought. We have already known 
both antinomians and supernomians. 
As I sense the feeling of young 

people, both Christian and non- 
Christian — not the "what's-the-harm- 
in-it?" school but those in search of 
a more sensitive ethic — they want to 
take more responsibility on them- 
selves for the welfare of others than 
conventional custom encourages. 

Take, for example, the race ques- 
tion. For many generations, Christian- 
American m.ores accepted it that 
Negroes were a separate people, with 
the effect that they were disbarred 
from a full share in either the na- 
tional idealism of freedom and equal- 
ity or a fair share in its material and 
social benefits. The founders of the 
country were not serious about equal- 
ity when it came to Negroes. The 
nation is making a great effort to 
break with that ancient viewpoint. It 
is striving for a new morality of race. 
For this reason, many of the youth of 
whom I am speaking are to be found 
in that struggle. 

Take the war question. While dis- 
content with the Vietnam action has 
many sources, as with Walter Lipp- 
mann's traditional views, many young 
people are sick of a moral order that 
approves killing people wholesale as 
a normal means of achieving over- 
seas policy goals. When a young man 

JELWYN a. Smith is now Professor of Religion at Temple University, Philadelphia. 




who has been taught from boyhood 
to take responsibility is suddenly told 
that he is not to think about the war 
in Vietnam but just obey orders, he 
questions the entire system that is 
addressing him. It is not, however, 
the failure of logic that offends him; 
it is the inhumane results. Many 
modern young people are ready for 
the radical steps they believe neces- 
sary to establish a wholly new ap- 
proach. Many will go to jail, risk a 
job, accept rejection by the status- 
makers of the society rather than ac- 
cept an international order that seems 
both immoral and inane. Above all, 
this young person rejects the effort to 
brainwash him with radio spots like 
the J. Edgar Hoover warning against 
Communism which, as he hears it, 
tells him to reject all possibility of 
human reconciliation with the pres- 
ent national enemies. But he remem- 
bers that international relations 
change with blinding rapidity, and 
he is utterly skeptical about such 
urgings. What he cares about is 
human relations, not ideologies; least 
of all, nationalism and racism. 

To listen to much discussion of the 
new morality, one would think it 
nothing but a philosophy of sexual 
libertinism. It is true that the serious 
effort to grasp the relations of men 
and women in more humane terms 
is gravely handicapped by morally 
superficial people who quote the 
latest book on situation ethics to 
prove that when they experimented 

with some college girl suffering from 
doubt of her femininity, they did her 
a favor. It is not easy for people to 
view one another in their wholeness, 
for each to see the other as a person 
bearing fears and hopes and strug- 
gling to arrive at some sure sense of 
himself, one whose associations and 
trials in adolescence profoundly form 
the adult he is becoming. Indeed, 
mature adults who have the surest 
sense of themselves and who are by 
no means cutting their teeth on other 
people often cannot grasp all the 
issues that are at stake in relations 
with the young — our own children, 
students, our troubled counselees. 
Still, it is possible to distinguish the 
person who is seeking something for 
himself — a sexual victory, a demon- 
stration of one's power to control 
another, sycophancy — from a person 
who adjusts his action toward the 
other entirely to the need of the 
other person. This is the ethic of love 
and it is the legitimate field of reflec- 
tion and decision of the new moral- 
ity. It is remote from the ancient and 
tragic failure of the human being to 
love the other. It despises slick, up- 
dated rationalizations. 

A surprisingly large proportion of 
the youth I have met in civil rights 
work come from troubled family 
backgrounds. Their authoritative 
early experience of sex and family 
life is abhorrent to them. They are 
determined not to be like that. Many 
feel similarly about their church ex- 



perience, which to them has been 
restrictive, rejeaive, unfeeling. Typi- 
cally — perhaps not justifiably — they 
dump the whole business. Some feel 
that marriage is a set of legal obliga- 
tions that do not provide a frame- 
work in which love can flourish. It 
is love they value, not just sex. In 
their families many have seen love- 
less sex, a sex of obligation rather 
than a sexuality of love. They know 
the ephemeral nature of human ex- 
perience, and they are not sure they 
are able to sustain a love relationship 
throughout an entire lifetime. They 
do not feel sure of themselves. Let 
me distinguish these young people 
absolutely from the Playboy crowd, 
male and female, which sees sex as 
unconnected with enduring love, 
much less marriage. The latter prefer 
the ephemeral. To them, marriage is 
something everybody does, with or 
without love, with or without fidelity. 
But the searchers for a better moral- 
ity take the other seriously, and 
therefore they are wrestling with the 
meaning of love. 

These young people consider sex- 
ual activity both natural and human, 
and they want to do it in a truly 
human way. Many are sexually un- 
inhibited; others are attacking their 
own inhibition. Young people who 
have outgrown or rejected their fam- 
ilies are a lonely crowd. Between the 
time a young person leaves home and 
the time he (or she) marries and ac- 
cepts a job (or bears children) life is 

peculiarly unstructured. There are, 
pehaps, college rules, army regula- 
tions, the law itself, and "custom." 
Many actively resent all of these, 
especially if hardships in early years 
have alienated them from authority. 
Decisions must come from within. 
Conscience itself is poorly formed in 
many young people; and when well 
formed, it may be resented, like an 
oppressive parent. Many young 
people also want to break with them- 
selves. Their cry for freedom is not 
only a protest against evil law but 
may also represent the longing for a 
fuller inward freedom. 


It is among such young people 
— often highly intelligent, sensitive, 
sexually motivated but not yet ma- 
ture, sick of the lies of the adver- 
tisers, and living in an unstructured 
environment — that the search for a 
humane morality is being pressed. 
Many carry special burdens: parental 
rejection, sexual problems, anger, 
self-doubt, an unendurable idealism. 
Some of the most honest I know are 
living with all of these. 

An often unrecognized risk to their 
search for a better morality is solip- 
sism: when nothing is truly real ex- 
cept the self. Participation in the 
social struggle can become a theater 
in which they are playing out a one- 
man drama. When this happens, one 
no longer acts in relation to others 



but uses them to become something 
self-contained. This is a subtle divid- 
ing. What is the relation between 
being a truly loving person (a con- 
cern for one's self) and loving 
another? If concern for the former 
dominates, the quest for a better 
morality is already aborted; if in lov- 
ing others, a person becomes trusting 
and trustworthy, an open person 
whose "aye" is "aye" and whose "nay" 
is "nay," a person whose identity is 
quickly clear to others because he is 
himself unconfused — then the new 
morality is vindicated by its results. 

I construe the rejection of "every- 
one over thirty" by the Berkeley 
radicals as a kind of social solipsism: 
i.e., a denial of the reality of the so- 
ciety and the wholesale rejeaion of 
most person-to-person relationships. 
This is the mentality that I was 
taught to call "fundamentalism": a 
fixation which bars the way to reality 
and the newness of life that God 
makes always possible. It is the com- 
mon trait of racism, Marxism, right- 
ist extremism, and, regrettably, some 
forms of Christianity. To destroy real 
possibilities or deny what is real is a 
delusion. It is a delusion to suppose 
that everyone over thirty is cor- 
rupted; it is a delusion that people 
under thirty are less liable to corrup- 
tion. It is a delusion that black so- 
ciety is inherently capable of a high- 
er humanity than white society; it is 
a delusion that white society is in- 
herently superior to an integrated 

society. But delusion is not the mark 
of the new morality: love is. 

The most visible problem of the 
new morality, as I see it practiced in 
pieces and parts, is that it demands 
more than any but the most mature 
human being is able to give. The self 
cannot act without some concern 
about itself. Why did a young friend 
of mine break the terms of his pro- 
bation (a pacifist, he had refused to 
register) and climb on a helicopter 
to protest the Vietnamese war? Not 
only to stop the war but also because 
he has achieved a remarkably clear 
picture of himself by this sort of 
action. That is not bad, as a by- 
product; but how well has he loved 
the tortured people of Vietnam by 
this particular act? 

Only a serious youth will pause to 
ask himself a question whose answer 
everybody knows: how do you love 
a girl? A nineteen-year-old girl I 
loiow, the daughter of a prostitute, 
has lived alone in San Francisco since 
she was thirteen. She is very beautiful 
and has consistently sought the pro- 
tection of men. How many of them 
knew what it was she needed, as 
against what she expected? Which of 
them gave more than he took? Who 
is wise enough to know how to love 
such a girl? And who is good enough 
to do it? 

The new morality is the most de- 
manding ethical concept in the mar- 
ket place of ideas. Only the most 
mature persons are capable of prac- 



ticing it. Where it fails, this is not 
because the familiar rules of morality 
have been broken — love may truly 
make demands almost incomprehen- 
sible to moralism — but because some- 
one has failed to recognize the de- 
mand of love, or recognizing it, has 
fallen short. 

Calvinists may see a "third use of 
the law" here. The law which con- 
demns the self-righteous man and 
drives him to plead for mercy can 
also function as an aid to the faithful 
man. If the rules of morality are 
never used for judgment, if rules 
help a man who wants to love a girl 
find the way to do it, then they are 
an instrument of grace. For myself, I 
am sure they are indispensable, not 
because they are sufficient in them- 
selves but because they can be aids to 
the practice of love. Rules are for the 
weak; emancipation is for the mia- 
ture. For the immature, a flexible use 
of rules is an intrinsic part of the 
effort of a free person to love other 
persons in a responsible way. At best 
this is a difficult aspiration. Those 
who angrily reject the new morality 
and follow the rules they know, are 
often prone to condemn others and 
congratulate themselves. Those who 
reject all rules claim a strength they 
seldom possess; those who make use 
of rules for the sake of love will 
alienate themselves from love if they 
use their rules to judge others. There 
is no way but the way of grace. So 

far as we lack grace, we remain nec- 
essarily in tutelage to law. 


The American nation is now a 
pluralism of moralities as it is a plu- 
ralism of religions and it is no more 
possible to enforce on this diverse 
people a single morality than it is to 
enforce a single religion. The public 
law must, therefore, be held to the 
minimum that is essential to the 
public welfare. The birth control laws 
of some states illustrate the problem. 
The moral predilections of the Puri- 
tans led them to pass laws against ob- 
scene personal practices; and the 
Catholic Church down to the present 
has regarded most birth control 
measures as obscene. The Supreme 
Court recently recognized, however, 
that law may not reach into certain 
areas of privacy, and a Connecticut 
statute was declared unconstitutional. 
This is the direction of things to 
come: expanding spheres of personal 
freedom, checked by expanded con- 
cepts of the social good. The clash 
will occur along this line: to what 
extent may the freedom of individ- 
uals or groups to exert power over 
others be tolerated consistently with 
public justice? In the personal realm, 
greater variety of conduct will be re- 
moved from the surveillance of the 
law (e.g., sex praaice) while activi- 
ties which impinge on the general 



welfare (drugs, packaging, safety, 
health) will be ever more closely 

The new morality will thus enjoy 
enlarging freedom in America but 
will have to prove itself socially. This 
it has already achieved in a single 
crucial sphere through non-violent 
protests against oppressive laws. De- 
votees of the rule cannot break a bad 
law; but those who know that love 
of human beings demands law-break- 
ing are free to do k, as Jesus violated 
the Sabbath code. But since law is a 
permanent part of human society, a 
liberated morality of love must re- 
construct rather than demolish civil 

Family law is headed for long- 
term revision, not only because of the 
chaos of law that still prevails (New 
York State has just comprehensively 
revised its divorce laws) but because 
in the family the public interest and 
private right must be uniquely rec- 
onciled. Offspring must have care 
and the state must assure it; but 
whether a couple will bear children 
and if so, how many, is not for the 
state to decide. The state must regu- 
late property in connection with mar- 
riage and divorce; but it must con- 
cede extensive rights of personal 

liberty in the making, ordering, and 
breaking of marriage. If the insis- 
tence on the "rights of love" implicit 
in the new morality is to be validated 
for the public order, the American 
people must make important strides 
toward maturity in the control and 
uses of sex. The general revision of 
family law that is now getting under 
way will no doubt provide consider- 
able flexibility; but the burden of the 
state will always be the question of 
its responsibility toward the whole 
people. The association of love, sex, 
and marriage is delicate and often 
ephemeral. To what extent can the 
state turn over this eminently private 
yet also crucial public concern to 
private judgment alone? 

That law can be revised to con- 
form to the concrete demands of a 
morality of love has been demon- 
strated by the civil rights legislation. 
No law fulfills the possibilities of 
love; but neither is law inherently 
alien to love. The severest test of 
situational ethics is the achievement 
of a social and legal system which 
will offer the widest freedom to those 
v/ho can achieve the maturity de- 
manded by love and yet support and 
compel those whose capacity fof 
responsibility is prone to failure. 

Tahweh v. Cohen et al. 

God's Lawsuit with Priest and People — Hosea 4 
by JARED J. Jackson 

This paper is intended to be a modest contribution to the study of the 
form and structure of the prophetic books as exemplified in Hosea chapter 
4. A reconsideration of the structure of this passage, in the light of the 
literary type now commonly called the W^^ -pattern,^ may yield a greater 
respect for the integrity and coherence of the chapter than has usually been 
granted, provide a new perspective on the admittedly difficult textual prob- 
lems, and perhaps help us to understand the meaning of Hosea's message. 

It is CLEAR NOW from the study of such passages as Deut. 32; Isa. l:2f, 
10-20; Mic 6:1-8; Jer. 2:2-37; Ps. 50; and perhaps Isa. 3:13ff, that there was 
a well-known genre or GaUung in ancient Israel which may be called the rihh 
or "controversy" pattern, from the technical legal term v/hich was used to 
describe the lawsuit in Israel. Tnis GaUung had a fairly fixed structure, which 
has been compared to some forms of international treaties in the ancient 
Near East,^ and which consisted of at least the following elements: (1) In- 
troduction: summons to attention, appeal to heaven and earth, e.g., Deut. 
32: If; Jer. 2:12; Ps. 50:l-7b. (2) Interrogation and first implicit accusation, 
Deut. 32:6; Jer. 2:5f.; Ps. 50:l6b. (3) Indictment: declaration of the crimes 
which have broken the covenant, review of the saving acts of Yahweh and of 
the ingratitude of Israel, Deut. 32:7-18; Jer. 2:7-11, 14-25. (4) The useless- 
ness of ritual compensations instead of the worship of Yahweh, Deut. 32:l6f; 

^Cf. B. Gemser, "The Rib- or Controversy-Pattern in Hebrew Mentality," in Wisdom 
in Israel and in the Ancient Near East, eds. M. Noth and D. "Winton Thomas, Sup- 
plements to Vetus Testamentum Vol. 3 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1955), pp. 120-137; 
H. B. Huffmon, "The Covenant Lawsuit in the Prophets," Journal of Biblical Litera- 
ture VoL 78 (1959), pp. 285-295; H. J. Boecker, Redeformen des Rechtslebens im 
Alien Testament, WMANT 40 (Neukirchen, 1964), esp. pp. 54, 102, I43ff. 

2J. Harvey, "Le 'Rib-Pattern', requisitoire prophetique sur la rupture de Talliance," 
BiblicaYol43 (1962), pp. 172-196. 

jARED J. Jackson is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Pittsburgh Theological 




Jer. 2:26ff. (5) Declaration of guiit and warnings of total destruction, Deut. 
32:19-25; Jer. 2:31-37; Ps. 50:22f. 

Evidently the prophets took over the W^^ -pattern as a form of speech 
and developed it for their own needs as messengers of the divine Word to 
Israel. It is the thesis of this paper that Hosea 4 represents an adaptation of 
the lawsuit to the particular situation which the Prophet faced in North 
Israel about the year 735 B.C., in which the religious leaders of the nation 
took initiative in guiding the people into apostasy from Yahweh. 

The chapter has four strophes, with an introduction and conclusion. The 
introduction serves to summon the defendants and to appeal to the witness of 
heaven and earth and their inhabitants. The first two strophes are directed 
against the priests, while the last two condemn the people. The conclusion, 
which takes up the motif of the animal kingdom again, leaves no room for 
hope for the criminals. 

Here, then, is a structured translation, with marginal notations giving 
the progress of the ribb. 


Summary of 

Description of the 
effects of 
I the crimes 



1. Listen to Yahweh's charge, you 'Israelites'! 
Yahweh has a case against the residents of the 

2. Specifically: Nothing of trustworthiness, nor 
of fidelity, nor of knowing God is in the land. 
But swearing and then denying, murder, kid- 
napping, and adultery overflow ( in the land ) , 
and bloodshed leads to bloodshed. 

3. It is for these reasons that the earth continues 
to wither and all its inhabitants lose their fer- 
tility, together with the wild beasts and the 
birds of the sky — and even the fish of the sea 
are exterminated. 

la. Identification of 

the suspects 
b. Indictment of the 

Strophe I 

4. Yet let no layman prosecute, let no citizen de- 
fend himself; 

Since my bill of indictment is against you, O 



Quotation as 

Defendant warned 

of consequences 


5. For you stumble in broad daylight, the proph- 
et beside you trips up in the dark of night, so 
that thy mother grieves. 

6. "My people are destroyed for lack of rhe 

So, because you have rejected the knowledge, 
I would eject you from my priesthood. Since 
you have forgotten the revelation of your 
God, I would also forget your sons. Indeed I 


Bill of 


b. Sentence demanded 



Grounds for the 


Strophe 11 

The more they multiplied, the more they in- 
fringed upon me; they traded in my honor for 
ignominy. 8. The crime of my people they 
devour; they are greedy for their guilt. 
So: What happens to the people must happen 
to the priesthood! 

Therefore: I will punish him for his ways and 
penalize him for his deeds. 
They shall eat but never be satisfied; 
They shall go whoring but be frustrated all 
the more 

Because they have abandoned the service of 

Ilia. Quotation 
h. Indictment of 
the people 

c. Particulars 

d. Uselessness of 


e. Consequences of 

Strophe 111 

11. "Fornication and wines take away the senses." 

12. My people! He inquires of his wooden idol, 
and his staff gives answer. 

Indeed, a wind of harlotry makes (them) 
stagger, so they go whoring under their gods! 

13. On the tops of the mountains they sacrifice, 
on the hills they burn incense — under oak 
and storax and terebinth — thinking, 'How 
pleasant is its shade!' 

So of course your daughters turn prostitute, 
and your daughters-in-law commit adultery. 



IVa. Exception 14. 


h. Extenuating 


c. Warning 

d. Proposed 15. 


e. Parole 

Strophe IV 

No, I will not punish your daughters for their 

harlotry nor your daughters-in-law for their 


Since the men tear themselves apart with 

harlots and 'sacrifice' with temple prostitutes. 

"Now a senseless people will be crushed!" 

Though you are inveterately whoring, Israel, 
Judah must not incur guilt. 
That means you must never enter Gilgal, 
never go up to Beth-awen, never swear "As 
Yahweh Lives!" 

Refusal of 


Crimin-al to be 


led away 


Remorse will 
come too late 

. 19 


Surely Israel is rebellious as a stubborn heifer. 
How could Yahweh give them pasture like a 
lamb in an open field? 

Ephraim is coupled with idols — let him go! 
A band of drunkards, they are driven to har- 
lotry. Her insolent ones love ignominy. 

When a wind wraps her up in its wings, then 
they will be ashamed of their altars. 


Failure to observe the structural relationships within the chapter has 
led to a denial of its unity and has also obscured the literary form. Yet the 
whole passage has been very carefully constructed, both in its major parts and 
in detail. First of all, the Introduction is balanced by the Conclusion, in struc- 
ture as well as content.^ The main body, however, is dominated by a markedly 
ordered design, since Strophe I ( the Priesthood Accused ) and Strophe III ( the 
People Accused) stand over against Strophe II (the Sentence Passed) and 
Strophe IV (the Sentence Suspended). Thus the pattern is AB A'B'. More- 
over, within the corresponding strophes, lb is paralleled by Illb, Ic by IIIc, 
Id by Ilia, and le by Ille; while lib is matched by IVe, lie by IVa, lid by IVc, 

'3 + 2 lines balance 2 + 3 lines in Hebrew. 

II - 

- IV 

lib - 

- IVe 

lie - 

- IVa 

lid - 

- IVc 

He - 

- IVb 



I — III 

lb — Illb 

Ic — IIIc 

Id — Ilia 

le — Ille 

The correspondences in the first series of strophes are exactly reversed in 
the second, both in structure and content. In addition, verses 6b, 9b, 12a, and 
13b exhibit chiastic exchanges of word order within their clauses (AB B'A'). 
It is no accident that structure and content work together throughout the 
chapter to overcome the impression of fragmentation produced by the textual 


Thus Yahweh's lawsuit builds to its climax. A Priesthood which has 
rejected its prime task and duty of bringing the people to the intimate knowl- 
edge of God (v.2), will be destroyed with the nation it has betrayed. There- 
fore the whole nation is summoned before the bar of divine justice, evidence 
in abundance is produced, sentence is demanded, verdict given, and punish- 
ment prescribed in swift sequence. We are shocked by the explicitness of 
Hosea's language; no doubt his contemporaries were grossly offended by his 
description of what they considered devout religious practices. Yet by revers- 
ing a familiar public scene in which the priests customarily acted as judges 
and interpreters of Torah, Hosea was able to convey the full meaning of 
God's condemnation of those to whom He had entrusted His covenant love. 

*Even the introduaory formulae correspond. Compare ki of le with W ken of III e, 
and ki of He with ki of IVb. But the pattern does not force all parts of the strophes 
to a logical perfection of form, since the Semites are symmetrophobes. 

Book Reviews and Notes 

Von Rad, Gerhard. Tbe Problem of the Hexateuch and Other Essays. New 
York: McGraw-Hill, 1966. Pp. xiii + 340. $9.50. 

The famous Heidelberg Alttesta- 
mentlicher presents here in English 
form sixteen of his finest essays, orig- 
inally published between 1931 and 
1964. Since von Rad is widely rec- 
ognized as the most exciting theolo- 
gian among O.T. scholars, this col- 
lection will be gratefully received by 
students and teachers, and will serve 
as a useful introduction to his chal- 
lenging two-volume Old Testament 

The title essay on the form- 
critical problem of the Hexateuch 
sets forth the author's well-known 
thesis that the "little credo" in Deut. 
26:5b-9 (cf. 6:20-24; Josh. 24:2b- 
13; I Sam. 12:8) represents the 
structure of the present Hexateuch 
in nuce, "a summary of the principal 
facts of God's redemptive activity." 
Later cult lyrics, such as Ps. 136; Ex. 
15:lb-18; Pss. 105 and 78 and even 
135, show a progressive relaxation of 
the traditional pattern, yet it is not 
until Neh. 9:6ff that the motif of the 
giviVig of Torah at Mt. Sinai is in- 
cluded with the other basic elements. 
This does not mean that the Sinai 
traditions were late, however, but 
that they were inserted into the old 
canonical scheme at a relatively late 
stage. Indeed, the legend of Sinai 

preceded and was formative of the 
cultic celebration, although the leg- 
end was elaborated in turn in the 
cultus. Pss. 50 and 81 show us how 
the legend was related to ritual. It 
was originally at home in the frame- 
work of the Feast of Booths (cf. 
Deut. 31:10b-ll, not Ex. 19:1, which 
points to the Feast of Weeks), cele- 
brated annually (!) at Shechem, not 
Jerusalem as Mowinckel had claimed. 
Actually, it was the Settlement tradi- 
tion in Deut. 26:5ff which was cele- 
brated at the Feast of Weeks in 
Gilgal. It was the genius of the Yah- 
wist writer, who was a creator and 
not merely a collector, that he co- 
ordinated a "great number of de- 
tached traditions of the most diverse 
origin" and subordinated them to 
the Settlement tradition. Even the 
exodus tradition in Ex. 1-14, which 
Pedersen showed was a unit derived 
from the Passover ceremony, was 
made inferior to the tradition of the 
Settlement. In addition, major com- 
plexes were worked in at three other 
points: the interpolation of the Sinai 
tradition, the development of the 
patriarchal tradition, and the intro- 
ductory addition of the primaeval 
history; and in each case this new 
fusion was an entirely literary process 




which took place only after the mate- 
rials had been freed from the cultus 
and seriously spiritualized. 

Such a brief resume can convey 
nothing of the detailed study which 
has formed the basis for his influen- 
tial essay. Moreover, as von Rad 
pleads in a brief preface, this and the 
other articles should be read in the 
light of the progress of scholarship at 
the time of original publication (in 
this case, 1938). His arguments here 
about the development of the Hexa- 
teuch have been carried further and 
partially modified by Martin Noth 
in the latter's Uberlieferungsge- 
schichte des Pentateuch (1948), and 
have been challenged by A. Weiser's 
student W. Beyerlin, whose counter- 
arguments may now be read in his 
Origins and History of the Oldest 
Sinaitic Traditions (1961, trans. 

The succeeding essays evince as 
great a power of theological reflec- 
tion and not merely of form-critical 
acuity. In "There Remains Still a 
Rest for the People of God ..." 
(1933), von Rad traces the Deuter- 
onomic concept of "rest" through to 
Heb. 3:7flF. "The Tent and the Ark" 
(1931) concludes that these ancient 
religious symbols were originally 
separate, and that the former alone 
originated in the Wilderness age. 
"Faith Reckoned as Righteousness" 
(1951) traces Gen. 15:6 back to the 
cultic declaratory formula used by 
the priest in accepting the worship- 

per's offering, which has now been 
radically spiritualized by the Elohist 
writer (but, one is tempted to ask, 
did the Hebrew term hshb really have 
a meaning which was ever restricted 
to the cultus.'*). "The Theological 
Problem of the Old Testament Doc- 
trine of Creation" (1936) finds that 
this doctrine is always "subordinated 
to the interests and content of the 
doctrine of redemption," a treatment 
which is balanced by von Rad's later 
consideration of the secret of creation 
as something the wisdom writers ( Ps. 
19; Job 28; Prov. 8; Ben Sira 24) 
knew to be hidden from man precise- 
ly because of his technological bril- 
liance — "Some Aspects of the Old 
Testament World- View" ( 1964 ) . 

Perhaps the finest of these articles 
is the long one dealing with "The 
Beginnings of Historical Writing in 
Ancient Israel" (1944), which ex- 
amines both the heroic sagas of 
Israel's ancient heroes and the so- 
called history of the succession to 
David's throne for the light they shed 
upon the historical mode of presenta- 
tion as a new dimension of theolo- 
gical reflection. A companion piece 
lays bare the later doctrine of the 
prophetic word which is said to be 
fulfilled in history — "The Deuter- 
onomic Theology of History in / and 
U Kings" (1947). 

Space precludes more than men- 
tion of the remaining essays, "The 
Royal Ritual in Judah" (1947), 
"The City on the Hill" (1949; cf. 



Isa. 2:2-4 and 60), "'Righteousness' 
and 'Life' in the Cultic Language of 
the Psalms" (1950), "The Levitical 
Sermon in I and 11 Chronicles" 
(1934), "Job XXXVIII and Ancient 
Egyptian Wisdom" (1955), "The 
Joseph Narrative and Ancient Wis- 
dom" (1953), and finally "The Early 
History of the Form-Category of / 
Corinthians XIII. 4-7" (1953). This 
bare list may givQ some idea of the 
range of Professor von Rad's in- 
terests and influence. Even where one 
feels compelled to differ with his 
conclusions, it is thanks to his stimu- 
lation that a fresh study of the Scrip- 
tures has been undertaken, which is 
surely the aim of all biblical students. 
In view of the fact that some of von 
Rad's critics have charged him with 
a nQglQCt of the prophets in favor of 

Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomis- 
tic history-work, it is perhaps a pity 
that his searching essays on "The 
False Prophets" (1933) and "The 
Confessions of Jeremiah" (1936) 
have not been included; but in the 
face of such treasures as appear here 
such a complaint would seem churl- 

The Rev. Dr. E. W. Trueman 
Dicken is to be thanked for a clear 
and faithful translation which suc- 
ceeds in retaining the forcefulness of 
von Rad's original. Our only regret 
is the increasingly frequent lament 
that the price will raise the volume 
above the hands of those who most 
need to read responsible, theological- 
ly oriented treatments of biblical 
themes. Wait for the paperback! 

— Jared J. Jackson. 

Shires, Henry M. The Eschatology of Paul in the Light of Modern Scholar- 
ship. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966. Pp. 287. $6.95. 

The subject of eschatology con- 
tinues to attract readers and pub- 
lishers, and this is Westminster's 
third recent book in the field (cf. 
Perspective, VII.3 [September, 1966], 
pp. 38-40). This present volume is 
longer and more technical than the 
other books, and the title indicates 
the author's concern with a specific 

and exacting area of the field. 

Dr. Shires, who teaches at the Epis- 
copal Theological School in Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts, is conversant 
with this subject and its literature. He 
surveys the general outlines of Pauline 
eschatology and then deals in par- 
ticular with more specific categories 
in the subject (salvation, judgment, 



time, life in the Spirit, etc.). His 
positions are moderate, and he mani- 
fests an appreciation for the rather 
wide spectrum of positions which 
are possible in this field. He permits 
(wisely, in the reviewer's opinion) 
Paul to argue his thought with what 
appear to be unresolved contradic- 
tions. He shows that Paul's eschatol- 
ogy is woven integrally into the 
whole cloth of his theology and is 
neither determinative nor unessential. 
It is a pity that an author with so 
much to offer in the way of judg- 
ment and competence should be al- 
lowed to come to print with so many 
evident faults in his book. For this 
reviewer, the most annoying feature 
of this study is the manner in which 
the copious annotations are em- 
ployed. There are scarcely two para- 
graphs in sequence without a quota- 
tion. Whether or not these should 
mostly be relegated to the notes is, 
perhaps, open to question; but the 
way in which they are introduced is 
bad: they remind one repeatedly of 
the "Tom Swifties" of recent popu- 
larity ("Davies notes carefully" — 
"Higgins concludes soundly" — "Dav- 
ies declares unequivocally"). Besides, 
the quotations themselves suffer from 
two weaknesses: the precise rele- 
vance for Shires' context is not 

always smoothly apparent, and one 
is not always sure that the particular 
quotations will bear the apodictic use 
made of them. 

There is a certain repetitiousness 
in the text which probably has some 
value but which sometimes gives the 
impression of "padding." There are 
several infelicitous forms of expres- 
sion ("The statement of Dodd is 
solidly supported by the writings of 
Paul: ' . . . '"); and there is one 
egregious blunder on p. 65 where the 
Aramaic of "Our Lord, come!" is 
transliterated maran atha. 

Professor Shires' choice of material 
is generally good, and there \s> a help- 
ful bibliography. One is surprised, 
however, that he has not mentioned 
G. Vos' The Pauline Eschatology, His 
discussion of "wrath" in Chapter IV 
could well have referred to Bult- 
mann's helpful treatment of "wrath 
as event" in his Theology I. 288ff. 
One also would have hoped for more 
exegetical study of the particular pas- 
sages in Thessalonians and 1 Corin- 
thians 15. 

There is need for a good, up-to- 
date book on this subject. Dr. Shires' 
volume could be the one with a re- 
vised edition. 

—7. A. Walther. 


Walther, James ^irthur. New Testament Greek Workbook. An Inductive 
Study of the Complete Text of the Gospel of John. Chicago and London: 
University of Chicago Press, 1966. Pp. xxvi + 208 +13 "Progress Checks." 
$4.50 (paper; illustrated). 

The appearance of two new gram- 
mars of the language of the New 
Testament v/ithin a year does not 
necessarily imply that a rejuvenation 
of the biblical languages is taking 
place. But it does indicate that schol- 
ars and grammarians are applying new 
and improved methods of language 
instruction to the teaching of Greek 
which promise to make the learning 
process both easier and more mean- 
ingful. This is evident in The Lan- 
guage of the New Testament (New 
York, 1965) by Eugene Van Ness 
Goetchius and now in James Arthur 
Walther's New Testament Greek 
Wo-rkhook. Both emphasize the in- 
ductive study of grammar; both at- 
tempt to minimize rote memoriza- 
tion as much as possible. Both set 
forth exercises v/hich utilize New 
Testament vocabulary and construc- 
tions and place little emphasis on 
translation from English to Greek. 

Of the two grammars, however, 
Walther's is the more inductive in 
its approach. While a workbook ac- 
companies Goetchius' text, Walther's 
grammar is a workbook. Students are 
introduced to the alphabet and then 
directly to the text of the Fourth 
Gospel. The new vocabulary of each 
biblical paragraph is listed separately. 

This is followed by a grammatical 
and syntactical analysis of the words 
and phrases of the text. No paradigms 
as such are printed; but biblical refer- 
ences to chapter and verse are sup- 
plied in paradigmatic arrangement 
for the cases, genders, number, per- 
sons, tenses, voices and moods of the 
declensions and conjugations which 
are encountered along the way. The 
entire Fourth Gospel, divided into 23 
units, is covered and studied in this 
manner; and Walther promises that 
"an able class may complete this 
workbook and read the Gospel of 
John in fewer than seventy class 
hours." Nine plates are scattered 
throughout presenting photographic 
reproductions of some of the great 
manuscripts and texts of the New 
Testament. Bound with a paper cover 
by a sturdy plastic ring-binder, the 
book is an attractive manual which 
reduces to a minimum the psycho- 
logical shock often accompanying 
students' introduction to a foreign 

The disadvantages, of course, are 
relative depending on the instructor's 
own approach to the inculcation of 
the biblical language. The severest 
limitation may be the sole use of the 
Fourth Gospel which, as a result, con- 



fines the student to a study of the 
vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of 
that book. Furthermore, since the 
explanation and elucidation of gram- 
mar and syntax — apart from the bib- 
lical context — is left to the instruc- 
tor, there is no way for the student to 
delve into the structure of Greek for 
himself. In this respect Goetchius' 
book has more to offer, for in using 
the terminology and techniques of 
linguistic analysis he is able to pro- 
vide the student with a greater com- 
prehension of the structure of the 
language. This might not be so vital 
if present-day students brought a 
sound knowledge of their native 
tongue and its structure to their 
study. As it is, however, English 
grammar must usually be taught first 
in order to prepare the way for an 
understanding of Greek.* On that 

account this reviewer would prefer 
to employ Goetchius for the intro- 
ductory grounding in the biblical lan- 
guage. In turn that would be fol- 
lowed by an exhaustive use of Wal- 
ther's Workbook. Such an interde- 
pendent usage or the employment of 
one in preference to the other will 
be determined by the instructor's 
own views on teaching Greek. Never- 
theless, the appearance of both gram- 
mars is to be welcomed for the new 
possibilities which are afforded for 
the instruction of Greek in the years 
to come. Walther is to be congratu- 
lated for his excellent Workbook and 
its contribution to a rejuvenation of 
the learning of New Testament 
Greek that will hopefully follow. 

— Herman C. Waetjen 

San Francisco Theological Seminary 

Graduate Theological Union. 

* The Workbook has an introductory review survey of pertinent English grammar. 


Hyatt, J. Philip, ed. The Bible in Modern Scholarship. Papers Read at the 
100th Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Nashville: Abingdon, 
1965. Pp. 400. $7.50. 

In December, 1964, nearly a thou- 
sand persons met at Union Seminary 
and Riverside Church in New York 
City for the 100th meeting of the 
SBL. The occasion drew many of the 

world's most noted biblical scholars, 
and a representative group of them 
read papers and made responses. 
These proceedings were collected and 
edited for the present volume by the 



professor of Old Testament at Van- 
derbilt University. During the an- 
nual meeting of the SBL in 1965 — 
at Vanderbilt — the volume was pre- 
sented to the Society and dedicated 
to the memory of Professor Kendrick 

While the collection reflects the 
differences of the contributors and 
not all the pieces are of even quality, 
it is safe to assert that the material 
in this book represents a fair sam- 
pling of the finest achievements of 
biblical scholarship two-thirds of the 
way through our century. 

There are three OT discussions on 
"Method in the Study of Early He- 
brew History" (de Vaux, Menden- 
hall, and Greenberg), "The Role of 
the Cult in Old Israel" (Kapelrud, 
Vawter, and May), and "Prophecy 
and Apocalyptic" (Muilenburg and 
Frost). There are four NT discus- 
sions: "Kerygma and History in the 
NT" (J. M. Robinson, Stanley, and 
Filson), "Pauline Research Since 
Schweitzer" (Munck, W. D. Davies, 
and Koester), "The First Christian 
Century" (Conzelmann and M. A. 
Cohen), and "Gnosticism and the 
NT" (Quispel, R. McL. Wilson, and 

Jonas). There is a discussion of 
"Method in the Study of Biblical 
Theology" (Stendahl and Dulles) 
and one on "Archaeology and the 
Future of Biblical Studies" (Freed- 
man and Pritchard). Finally, the 
papers of the American Textual 
Criticism Seminar are included: "NT 
Textual Researches Since Westcott 
and Hort" (papyri, by Aland; ancient 
versions, by Metzger; scribal corrup- 
tions, by Colwell ) . 

It would be gratuitous to single 
out particular essays for mention of 
merit. Those who attended the 
original presentations will rem.ember 
that Hans Jonas' response to Quis- 
pel's paper on Gnosticism was the 
most spirited conflict of the series. 
And those same auditors, who packed 
into crowded lecture halls, will be 
grateful for the opportunity to pur- 
sue at leisure the wealth of learning 
summarized in these pieces — and to 
have the material in permanent form, 
revised for publication, one would 
suppose, and supported by footnotes. 
And best of all, many thousands who 
were not privileged to hear the voices 
may now read the words. 

Barker, William P. Everyone in the Bible. Westwood, N. J.: Revell, 1966. 
Pp. 370. 15.95 (16.95 after Jan. 1, 1967). 

Just two years after he published Master (Revell, 1964), Mr. Barker 
his fourth book, As Mattheiv Saw the has been able to come to print with 



a volume that must have taken a 
tremendous toll of time from his 
busy pastorate and Christian action. 
This book professes "to provide Bible 
readers with a concise, accurate, and 
readable biographical account of 
every person named in the Bible." 

The author is aware of the prob- 
lems and limitations of such an 
undertaking. Few persons, however, 
are likely to be so picayunish as to 
challenge the effective completeness 
of this list; and many Bible students 
will find the material useful. If every- 
one will not find a need for it in his 

personal library, certainly it has a 
place in church libraries and like col- 

A sampling of the material indi- 
cates a substantial and judicious pre- 
sentation of essential data, and ap- 
propriate Bible references are given. 
Since the meaning of names was so 
important to the Semitic mind, inclu- 
sion of such meanings (where rea- 
sonably certain) would have been a 
valuable asset. 

Mr. Barker is a graduate of this 
seminary in the class of 1950. 

Schaff, Philip. The Creeds of Christendom. Vol. III. The Evangelical Protes- 
tant Creeds, with Translations. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1966. Pp. v'n -f- 966. 

Baker's Limited Editions Library 
continues to offer reissues of many 
excellent old standards. While the 
three volumes of The Creeds of 
Christendom have been generally 
available, this fine reprint is partic- 
ularly welcome at this time. For 
United Presbyterians who are study- 
ing the "Book of Confessions" this 
year, it is timely to have such an edi- 

tion readily purchasable. 

The original edition was published 
by Harper in 1877. The present edi- 
tion has been reprinted from the last 
edition which contains the "Part 
Fourth, Recent Confessional Declara- 
tions and Terms of Corporate Church 
Union," including data as late as 
1932. The print is clear, and the for- 
mat is attractive. 

Bruggink, D. J., ed. Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude. A Commentary on the 
Heidelberg Catechism Commemorating Its 400th Anniversary. New York: 
Half Moon Press, 1963. Pp. xi + 226. $3.50. 

Using, the translation of the 400th 
Anniversary Edition, a group of 
prominent scholars from the Re- 
formed Church in America has pro- 
vided essays on the topics treated by 


the Catechism seriatim. The book has 
a particular interest to those who are 
considering the "Book of Confes- 
sions" in the current United Presby- 
terian confessional study. 

Walker, G.S.M. The Growing Storm. Sketches of Church History from A.D. 
600 to A.D. 1350. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961. Pp. 252. $3.75. 

Parker, G. H. W. The Morning Star. Wycliife and the Dawn of the Reforma- 
tion. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965. Pp. 248. $3.75. 

Douglas, J. D. Light in the North. The Story of the Scotch Covenanters. 
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964. Pp. 220. $3.75. 

Orr, J. E. The Light of the Nations. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966. Pp. 302. 

Volumes two, three, six, and eight 
of The Advance of Christianity 
Through the Centuries, edited by F. 
F. Bruce. Note of volume seven 
(then volume six) — Wood, A. S. 
The Inextinguishable Blaze. Spiritual 
Renewal and Advance in the 18th 

Century — was carried in our June, 
1961, issue. 

These volumes, written by known 
British writers, are attractively pro- 
duced, and provide a fine addition to 
the historical literature. 

McCracken, Robert J. What Is Sin? What Is Virtue? New York: Harper & 
Row, 1966. Pp. 94. $2.95. 

In a day when the church is con- 
cerned with preaching a social gospel 
whose necessary theme is reconcilia- 

tion, Robert J. McCracken, pastor of 
the Riverside Church in New York 
City, reverses the trend by focusing 



his latest book on the individual. He 
helps the reader answer the questions 
"What is Sin? What is Virtue?" with 
regard to his own life. 

One chapter is devoted to each of 
the seven deadly sins (pride, envy, 
anger, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and 
lust) and to each of the cardinal vir- 
tues (wisdom, justice, temperance, 
courage, faith, hope, and love). 
While each sin and virtue is dealt 
with in a sensitive and helpful way, 
it appeared to this reader that neither 
the author nor the gospel had much 
that was new or unique to contribute. 

In the first half of the book, the 
chapter on lust is exceptional. Dr. 
McCracken clearly sets forth a solid 
theological and scriptural foundation 
for the relationship between the 
sexes. The final three chapters of the 
second half (faith, hope, and love) 
are also strong. 

The description of the book on the 
front cover is misleading ("A per- 
sonal guide to spiritual balance in 
the confusing age of the New Moral- 
ity"). The book has nothing to say 
in the current discussion of the "New 
Morality" or situational ethics. 

Rhymes, Douglas. No New Morality — Christian Personal Values and Sexiial 
Morality. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965. Pp. 146. $3.50. 

Pragmatically speaking, what the 
church has been teaching about sex 
during the last few decades has been 
very inadequate. The old morality has 
been unsatisfactory, and what has 
been taken for "new morality" indi- 
cates capitulation rather than con- 
structive thinking. The author con- 
tends that the morality called for is 
not new but the old alluded to if not 
specifically taught by Jesus. Tlie law 
as the Pharisee saw it was a series of 
flat inflexible judgments applied to 
all people in every circumstance. The 
law was to be upheld even when it 
caused a wedge to be driven between 
man and man, and man and God. 

Jesus' attitude toward the woman 
taken in adultery did not condone her 
actions but it did make the laws in- 
volved subservient to the person. 
Douglas Rhymes, Canon of South- 
wark Cathedral, believes that our atti- 
tude with regard to sex is dominated 
by an antiquated series of rigid rules 
that eliminates any personal under- 
standing of the problem involved. 

Standards with regard to pre- 
marital and extra-marital sex rela- 
tionships have been taught by a gen- 
eration of adults that, by their ex- 
ample, believe that no such standards 
exist. Today's youth show respect 
only for a system of morals that 



seems to work. Present systems are 
shallow and phoney and are, hence, 

Jesus relied upon a deep under- 
standing of the law of love, which 
had to be applied in an existential 
way. The author spells out Christ's 
approach as leading young people 
into a deeply "profound know^ledge 
of themselves; of helping them to a 
responsible and creative attitude to- 
wards life and people; of encourag- 
ing the right kind of revolt against 
conventionality, and of seeing them 
in the situation in which they are 

While this approach seems not so 
revolutionary, it does call for the 
church to rethink its position with 
regard to "assumed standards." If 
Christ was able to forgive the woman 
taken in adultery, must the church be 
inflexible under all circumstances in 

every case of pre-marital or post- 
marital sex? 

Is there a better approach to the 
problems of the homosexual than 
blanket condemnation and veritable 
exclusion from the human race? How 
can the church exhibit more love and 
concern for the divorcee, or what is 
more important, the potential divor- 

Love was the supreme law for 
Christ. Canon Rhymes calls for the 
church to begin to take it seriously. 

The book has a very definite Brit- 
ish flavor. This is reflected in both 
the language and the statistics. But it 
is, none the less, quite readable, a 
sane approach to a difficult problem, 
and recommended reading for any 
who have responsibility for counsel- 
ing young people. 

—Chm-les C. W. Idler. 

Two FOR THE Money on Sex 

I sometimes feel that potential 
writers of sex books ought to be fed 
some sort of contraceptive pill so 
that we could limit the literary explo- 
sion in this field. Of all the books 
that have come across my desk this 
past year only two deserve any seri- 
ous attention. One I even assigned to 

the wastebasket — it was a bald at- 
tempt to disguise in atomic clothing 
a return to the Victorian you-should- 
not - even - kiss - a - girl - before - you-are- 
engaged mentality. Just three years 
of counseling college students was 
enough to convince me that more 
harm is done by those within the 



church who can not or will not come 
to see the new world and the new 
generation that inhabits it than by all 
the pills that could be dispensed to 
teen-agers and college students. 

Richard F. Hettlinger, Chaplain 
and Professor of Religion at Kenyon 
College, Ohio, has done a masterful 
job of cutting away the myth ap- 
proach to sexual life in his book 
Living with Sex: The Student's Di- 
lemma, (Seabury Press, 1966, $4.50). 
While this book is primarily ad- 
dressed to men it should be read by 
women who want to try to under- 
stand what makes men so seemingly 
inconsistent in their sexual approach. 
The chapter entitled "The Girl's 
Point of View" is, according to my 
wife, the best treatment she has seen 
on this phase of the whole subject. 
Dr. Mary Calderone's quote forms 
the real summary here saying, "The 
girl plays at sex, for which she is not 
ready, because fundamentally what 
she wants is love; and the boy plays 
at love, for which he is not ready, be- 
cause what he wants is sex." 

The "Playboy Philosophy" is dealt 
with critically and dismissed as in- 
adequate; "it falls into precisely the 
same error as the traditional religious 
mores, which it castigates so vigor- 
ously: it denies the contemporary 
psychological understanding of the 
depths of sexuality in the human per- 
son." The position of the church, 
both traditionally and in our day, is 
candidly discussed and found want- 

ing of any compelling direction 
for today's youth. Misunderstanding 
Jesus' acceptance of the wholeness of 
life, the church historically has suc- 
ceeded in giving the impression that 
sex is a regrettable necessity and the 
sexual sin is the worst of all. "Why 
is it that the word 'immoral' im- 
mediately implies sexual deviation, 
never unfair business practice or the 
exploitation of labor .^" he asks. Fur- 
ther, the church presents a confused 
and conflicting view of sex to the 
mind of the young and the outsider. 
It has accepted the idea of "romantic 
love" (belatedly) but has not faced 
the fact that "you cannot welcome 
sexual pleasure between married 
adults and still condemn it wholesale 
between unmarried adolescents." The 
studies of Kinsey and his associates 
is respectfully evaluated and used 
throughout the book. Hettlinger is 
careful to caution its use in most all 
respects but states, "his initial re- 
ports will rank with Karl Marx's Das 
Kapital, Darwin's Origin of Species, 
and Adam Smith's The Wealth of 
Nations in their influence on history. 
But, unfortunately, the influence of 
the reports is largely vitiated by the 
wide-spread disregard of the author's 
warnings of the limitations inherent 
in this kind of study." 

Particularly helpful to young men 
are two well done chapters on mas- 
turbation, "Sex — All Alone," and 
homosexuality, "Sex- — All Male." In 
both instances the ground is cleared 



of popular misconceptions and the 
source of confused attitudes on these 
subjects is traced and dealt with. 
The superstitious reverence for se- 
men, the supposed physical and men- 
tal effects and the general position 
of the church in the matter of mas- 
turbation are sharply exposed as the 
grounds for present unhealthy atti- 
tudes. "If masturbation were accepted 
as a natural phenomenon of adoles- 
cence, no more reprehensible than 
wet dreams or the onset of menstrua- 
tion in girls, it would never play a 
significant part in most men's lives. 
To condemn it as wicked and sinful 
is as stupid as to punish a baby for 
crying when it is hungry or a child 
for climbing trees. It is symptomatic 
of a healthy desire for sexual experi- 
ence and of normal adolescent viril- 

Concerning homosexuality, Profes- 
sor Hettlinger believes that ignor- 
ance, superstition, and prejudice must 
be cleared away before there is op- 
portunity to help those caught in this 
problem. In one brief paragraph he 
sets the tone of the chapter: "Tirst, 
nobody in his senses will accept a 
homosexual way of life if he can 
avoid it. Second, a large number of 
men who are not fundamentally or 
even exceptionally homosexual in 
their orientation have adult homo- 
sexual experiences. Third, no one 
within the normal student age range 
has reason to conclude that his homo- 
sexual urges, however strong, are 

either basic or permanent." His effort 
is not to get the church to abandon 
its position entirely, but to witness 
to the inadequacy and imperfection 
of the homosexual condition and call 
upon its members to abstain from 
the satisfaction of physical needs 
through the purely promiscuous use 
of other humian persons. At the same 
time, there must be a welcoming of 
such persons to the fellowship of the 
church and, in light of modern 
knowledge, a reexamination of the 
traditional dismissal of all homosex- 
ual relationships as intrinsically evil. 

This book is refreshing in that it 
does not to steer clear of the 
language that is airrent to the college 
student. It may offend some pious 
ears but students know exactly what 
he means when he discusses in blunt, 
frank, and contemporary language 
the sexual feelings of both men and 
women. Situational ethics underlies 
the handling of the problem of pre- 
marital intercourse, petting, and all 
the other tricky, yet urgent, problems 
faced by youth. 

Hettlinger's conclusion is worth 

The Christian Church, by its very na- 
ture, has an obligation to proclaim the 
supremacy of love as revealed in Jesus 
Christ. By its teaching it must chal- 
lenge the individual to preserve the 
final intimacy of intercourse for the 
final commitment of marriage. It must 
remind men of the complexity of sex- 
ual relationships and warn them of the 
consequences of selfish private indul- 
gence. But it should affirm these stand- 



ards without denying the freedom nec- 
essary for individual judgment and 
occasional nonconformity. Without com- 
promising on the principle that inter- 
course should be the expression and 
seal of the commitment of marriage, 
the church must make it clear that not 
all failures to attain the ideal are equal- 
ly reprehensible. It must reassure the 
young couple that a decision to com- 
promise with the ideal, because of the 
realities of t^'entieth-century life, when 
honestly and sincerely arrived at, does 
not cut them off from God's love and 
grace. It must face the fact that occa- 
sionally love requires actions that are 
outwardly in conflict with what love 
normally seeks to do. It has to discover 
some way of upholding ideals without 
turning them into rigid law. 

Teen-Agers and Sex: A Guide for 
Parents, by James A. Pike (Prentice- 
Hall, 1965, $3.95), is the second of 
the acceptable books I have seen this 
year. As the subtitle implies, this 
book is designed for parents — not for 
the youth themselves. The author's 
main thesis is: "Without denigrating 
the role of school and church pro- 
grams of sex instruction or of books 
about 'the facts of life' for children 
or teen-agers, I am convinced that 
there is no substitute for direct pa- 
rental involvement in this important 
aspect of the nurture of children." 
Let me quarrel with Pike right at 
this point by saying that while I 
agree that the ideal way of sex in- 
struction is by a constant conversa- 
tion throughout the years between 
parents and children, it has been my 
experience, especially with church 
people, that there is far too much 

prudishness built into our adults to 
allow this to be accepted as a uni- 
versal. I am not sure but what a bet- 
ter conversation about sex can take 
place between a young person and 
some 'outsider' where fears and em- 
barrassments do not present such 
formidable roadblocks. Be this as it 
may, the author does a good job in 
the opening chapters of setting up 
the subject, discussing succinctly the 
two current approaches to morality, 
traditional and 'new,' the conflicting 
currents present in today's society, 
and the questioning of absolutes that 
is a part of situation ethics. 

From this point on, the book at- 
tempts to set forth a flexible schedule 
of when and how to talk about the 
various stages of sexual development. 
In each of the three 'Phases' (ages 
4-7, 10-12, early high school) both 
underlying moral theories are brought 
to bear on specific problems. Pike 
feels the choice as to whether to pro- 
mote one or the other should be the 
parents', not the author's. I am sure 
he will be criticized for this attempt, 
but it seems rather helpful in that it 
at least presents carefully all the dan- 
gers inherent in the traditional view 
and cautions parents who feel that 
they must hold this view in this new 
age to present it in such a way that 
their children will appreciate it as 
having worked for the parents and 
should, therefore, be seriously con- 
sidered and not just dismissed as 



There are some excellent case his- 
tories worked into the text and some 
sage advice about how to break an 
existing relationship that has "lost its 
love." The chapter entitled "Alcohol 
and Sex" is the only one I have seen 

like k in any kind of sex book. Too 
often the connection between these 
two subjects is not considered. 

A good, up-to-date bibliography is 
a valuable part of both these books. 
—William R. Phillippe. 

Muirhead, Ian A. Education in the New Testament. (2. Monographs in Chris- 
tian Education.) New York: Association Press, 1965. Pp. 94. S2.50 (paper). 

The thesis of this monograph is 
that, although the New Testament 
was written over a number of years, 
the Church, from the beginning to 
the end of this period, held a basic- 
ally uniform view of Christian educa- 
tion — a view which gave to teaching 
an indispensable position in the life 
of the Christian community. Accord- 
ing to the author, there is no Biblical 
justification for subordinating teach- 
ing to preaching. "Whatever was the 
product of preaching, it was not an 
end-product"; rather, the end-product 
resulted from the didache, entrusted 

to the Church by the Holy Spirit, 
which taught Christians to walk 
worthy of their high calling in Christ 

This book is an expanded version 
of a paper w^hich Mr. Muirhead con- 
tributed to the Church of Scotland 
Special Committee on Religious Edu- 
cation. The expansion presents a 
good case for the theological impor- 
tance of an area of ministry that can 
easily be (and often has been) 

— David Blaine Cable, '67 . 

Other Monographs in Christian Education, edited by C. Ellis Nelson, and 
published by Association Press at $2.50 each (paper), are: 

1. Protestant Strategies in Education by Robert W. Lynn ( 1964; pp. 96 j . 

3. Learning in Theological Perspective by Charles R. Stinnette, Jr. (1965; 


4. The Shaping of Protestant Education. An Interpretation of the Sunday 

School and the Development of Protestant Educational Strategy in the 
United States, 1789-1860 by William Bean Kennedy (1966; pp. 93). 



John Knox Press (Richmond, Va.) this year began to issue a series of little 
paperbacks on Makers of Contemporary Theology, edited by D. E. Nineham 
and E. H. Robertson ($1.00 each; also published in a British edition). Thus 
far, four have appeared: ,; 

Ptf/^/ ra/ic/:? by J. Heywood Thomas (pp. 48) . 
Rudolf BiiUmann by Ian Henderson ( pp. 47 ) . 
Dietrich Bonhoeffer by E. H. Robertson (pp. 54). 
Teilhard de Chardin by Bernard Towers (pp. 45 ) . 

MacLennan, David A. Revell's Minister's Annual 1967. Westwood, N. J. 
Revell, 1966. Pp. 380. $3.95. 

In Perspective for March, 1965 
(VI.1.39)' Dr. MacLennan's first 
Annual was reviewed. Since then he 
was a guest of the Seminary when he 
preached at the Fall Communion 
Service, September, 1966 (see this 
issue, pp. 17ff ). 

Ordinarily, one would hope that 
each minister would do his own 

"homework." But we repeat our 
judgment that if one is going to use 
such aids or thought-starters, this 
book is recommended. Again we sug- 
gest that Dr. MacLennan's prayers 
are particularly helpful, and we add 
that many leaders of worship could 
profit from observing his careful 
choice of hymns. 

Manson, Wm. The Way of the Cross. Richmond: John Knox Press, 1964. Pp. 
91. $1.00 (a Chime Paperback). 

"Five studies based on Holy Week 
addresses on the form structure of the 
Christian life," with a biographical 
note by James Stewart. Each study 
relates to a text or pericope and is 
concluded with an apposite prayer. 

Here is a meaty little book which 
is recommended for Lenten study. It 
is both theological and devotional, a 
combination not always easy to come 
by. Both reader and preacher will be 
edified by Dr. Manson's studies. 




March, 1967 
Volume VIII Number 1 


Volume VIII March, 1967 Number 1 

Published four times yearly in March, June, September and December, by 
the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 North Highland Avenue, Pitts- 
burgh, Pa. 15206, one of the seven seminaries of the United Presbyterian 
Church in the U. S. A. Second-class postage paid at Pittsburgh, Pa. Changes 
of address should be sent to the Seminary, care of the Direaor of the Mail- 
ing Department. 

Editor: James Arthur Walther, Th.D. 

Publications Committees 
Faculty Student 

Peter Fribley Robert H. McClure, Jr. 

Lynn B. Hinds, Chmn. 
J. A, Walther 

J. Rowe Hinsey, ex. off. 

William R. Atkins, ex. off. 

William R. Phillippe, ex. off. 

Circulation: William W. Hill 

Secretarial Assistant: Mrs. Elizabeth Eakin 


Ad Hoc 2 

Preaching and the Law 3 

by Donald G. Miller 

Book Reviews and Notes 

Kelso, Archaeology attd our O.T. Contemporaries 24 

William F. Albright 

Pfeiflfer, The Biblical World 24 

Howard M. Jamieson, Jr. 

Porteous, Daniel: A Commentary 25 

Donald E. Gowan 

Kraus, Worship in Israel 26 

H. Eberhard von Waldow 

Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods 29 

Donald E. Gowan 

Foakes Jackson, The Beginnings of Christianity 33 

f Hennecke, New Testament Apocrypha 34 

L Smith, Young People's Bible Dictionary 35 

Stuber, The Illustrated Bible and Church Handbook 35 

J. A. Walther 

Packer, God Speaks to Man 36 

Howard Eshbaugh 

a Thielicke, Between Heaven and Earth 36 

Bruce, No Empty Creed 37 

Jay C. Rochelle 

Brill, The Creative Edge of American Protestantism 38 

Charles C. W. Idler 

Books Received 39 

Sonnet for Spring inside back cover 

by Rowe Hinsey 

Ad Hoc 

The principal article in this issue is from the President's desk. It 
is his contribution to New Testament Studies in Honor of Raymond T. 
Stamm, a book being edited by Jacob Myers, Professor of Old Testament at 
the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pa. Professor Stamm was 
a long-time teacher at the Gettysburg school, and Dr. Myers was a guest 
professor on our campus in the fall of 1965. We hope to review the entire 
volume when it is published. 

We invite your attention to the Book Reviews, among which three 
important contributions in Old Testament and Archaeology appear. In our 
review columns we try to do three things: (i) to bring you notice of books 
that we think merit your further study; (ii) to assess books which you are 
likely to see because of special publicity; and {in) to give our reviewers an 
opportunity to present comments which may be prompted by current publica- 
tions. Our coverage is not in any way complete, and doubtless it is sometimes 
too selective. We want our journal to be useful to our readers, and we wel- 
come constructive criticism. 

We make no apology for the rather large number of book reviews 
which have appeared in our recent issues. The publications explosion is a 
situation with which we and our readers must live. Among the new books 
are good, bad, and indifferent works; and each of us has time for only a small 
percentage of the total. If we help our readers expend their efforts on the 
best books, we think that we are serving our theological task in one more 

— /. A. W. 

Preaching and the Law 

^3/ Donald G. Miller 

There has developed in our time 
a Christianity without command or 
prohibition. This is nothing new. 
John Wesley described a form of 
Christianity which he encountered in 
the eighteenth century as one "where 
nothing good is commanded, and 
nothing bad is forbid."^ A century 
before that a similar form of faith 
was advocated in New England in 
which "no Christian must be pressed 
to duties of holiness," nor "exhorted 
to faith, love, and prayer."- Behind 
this lay a number of movements, 
mostly springing from the medieval 
Brethren of the Free Spirit, who 
advocated a view of Augustine's but 
without Augustine's wholeness: "have 
charity and do what thou pleasest."^ 
The roots of these may be traced 
clear back to the first century, where 
Peter had to deal with men who were 
using Christian freedom "to provide 
a screen for wrongdoing,"* and Paul 
had to repudiate those who were 

using Christian freedom as "license 
for [their} lower nature."^ 

If there is any difference between 
this outlook today and that of earlier 
times, it is the basis on which it rests. 

^The Journal of John Wesley (New York: Eaton & Mains, 1909-16), Standard Edi- 
tion, Volume II, p. 498. 

^The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (New York and Lon- 
don: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1908), p. 201. 

'^Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, edited by James Hastings (New York: Charles 
Scribner's Sons, 1910) , Volume II, p. 842. 

4 1 Peter 2:16, New English Bible ( NEB ) . 

sGalatians 5:13, NEB. 


The former aberrations usually rested 
either on gnostic dualism, the philo- 
sophical view of the unreality of the 
material world, or on mysticism, 
positing a mystical union with Christ 
which raised the believer above moral 
involvement. The present outlook 
rests on premises which claim the 
sanaion of the so-called "man- 
sciences" and reflects certain tend- 
encies characteristic of the mood of 
our time. 

Modern permissiveness has been 
baptized by theology. A ten-minute 
leafing through one book on the work 
of the ministry yields the following 
adjectives to describe the ideal min- 
ister: "permissive," "genial," "non- 
judgmental," "nondirective," "with- 
out censure," "tolerant," "nondogma- 
tic." So far as I am aware, these terms 
have not developed either out of 
biblical or systematic theology, but 
have come into the theological stream 
from the secular disciplines. After 
these concepts have been theological- 
ly baptized, their proponents then 
seek to give them the sanction of 
Jesus, although they are almost of 
necessity Marcionites as to the Old 
Testament, and they usually have 
difficulty in knowing what to do with 

The end result has been the al- 
most total eclipse of the law either 
in preaching or in pastoral work. 
The preacher is, therefore, confronted 
anew with the age-old problem of 

the relationship of the law to the 
gospel and with the question of what 
place the law has in preaching. No 
easy answer to these issues is to be 
found, but the search must be made; 
for to ignore them is really an answer 
— and that answer could be wrong. 

In facing this issue, three alterna- 
tives seem to present themselves. The 
first is to preach the law without the 
gospel, or what is perhaps worse, to 
reduce the gospel to law and preach 
law as though it were gospel, trans- 
forming "good news" into a demand. 
This is legalism. The second is to 
preach the gospel without the law, as 
though the preaching of the gospel 
could be separated from the preach- 
ing of the law by making them sepa- 
rate and distinct entities, as though 
the gospel has abrogated the law and 
made it irrelevant, thus making the 
gospel an offer without demand. This 
is libertinism. The third alternative is 
to hear the gospel in the law and to 
derive the law from the gospel, thus 
making God's offer a demand, and 
His demand an offer. 


Let us look first at the preach- 
ing of the law apart from the gospel. 
One of the temptations to which the 
church often succumbs is to trans- 
form the gospel into a legalism. This 
is one aspect of the expression of the 
"natural man" to which we easily fall 


prey. Man is a born legalist. Legalism 
is well defined by Webster as "Strict- 
ness ... in conforming to ... a code 
of deeds and observances as a means 
of justificationy^ The last words in 
this definition should be underscored. 
Legalism is not, as many think, strict- 
ness of life, methodical self -discipline, 
adherence to rules and regulations 
and precise habits of behavior. It is 
only when these are done as a means 
of justification that they become 

It is important to keep this in 
mind, because k is broadly assumed 
today that anyone who keeps the law, 
or plays by the rules, is a legalist. The 
commuter who takes the train at 
7:25 every morning merely because 
that is when the train goes and he 
wants to keep his job by being at his 
office on time, is not thereby a legal- 
ist. He is a legalist only if he be- 
comes sinfully proud of his achieve- 
ment and credits himself with moral 
merit before God, thinking that by 
prompt regularity in commuting he 
has contributed to his escape from 
eternal death. The farmer who milks 
his cows regularly, without missing a 
single day in thirty years, because his 
cows would gQt sick otherwise, and 
because he needs the milk besides, is 
not necessarily a legalist. It is only 
when he "hopes for heaven thereby" 
that he becomes such. The driver 

who obeys the speed limits because 
he believes them to be regulatory of 
traffic in a way which will preserve 
the life and limb of himself and fel- 
low motorists, is not a legalist. He 
becomes such only as he allows his 
law-abiding behavior to foster un- 
worthy pride and make him forget 
that he "deserves no credit" and has 
"only done [his] duty." Legalism is in- 
volved in behavior only when it be- 
comes the means of self-justification, 
leading to the Pharisaic thankfulness 
that we are "not as other men," and 
making impossible for us the prayer: 
"God, be merciful to me, a sinner." 

The idea, therefore, that he who 
keeps the law is necessarily a legalist 
should be discarded, along with the 
twin idea that the only way to avoid 
legalism is to sit loose to the claims 
of the law. One does not need to be- 
come criminal to confirm himself in 
the doctrine of justification by faith! 

John Wesley tells in his Journal of 
one who fell into the false conception 
of legalism. "One whom you know," 
he writes, "was remarkably exact in 
keeping his word. He is now [after 
avoiding works to keep from trusting 
in them} as remarkable for breaking 
it; being infinitely more afraid of a 
legal than of a living spirit! more 
jealous of the works of the law than 
of the works of the devil! He was 
cutting oflf every possible expense in 

^New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second edition, unabridged 
(Springfield, Mass: Merriam Company, 1935). 


order to do justice to all men; he is 
now expending large sums in mere 
superfluities. He was merciful after 
his power, if not beyond his power: 

Listening attentive to the wretch's 

The groan low -murmured, afid the 
tuhispered sigh. 

But the bowels of his compassion are 
now shut up; . . . to prove his faith, 
he lets the poor brother starve, for 
whom Christ died!"^ It is a false 
understanding of legalism which 
prompts men to "persist in sin, so 
that there may be all the more 

Although we must question the 
view that an honest effort to keep the 
law is in itself legalism, we must yet 
remind ourselves that, as both the 
Old and the New Testaments bear 
witness, legalism is one of the mortal 
enemies of genuine faith. It is native 
to man to endeavor to keep the law 
in self-justification before the bar of 
God, to secure a righteousness of his 
own, to put God in his debt, to de- 
mand salvation from Him for the 
price of obedience. 

This results in pharisaism, either 
of the type which our Lord branded 
as "hypocrisy," or the type exem^pli- 

fied by Paul in his despair. It be- 
comes hypocrisy in that it claims to 
fulfill God's demand by paring it 
down to the limits of our achieve- 
ment. It fosters what John Bright has 
called "a very small righteousness" by 
which "we become good too easily."^ 
If we avoid robbery, rape, adultery, 
and murder, we content ourselves 
with the illusion that we have ful- 
filled our duty to God. Or by keep- 
ing rules and regulations and by 
observing stated forms of religious 
observance we feel that we have 
achieved what will please the Al- 
mighty. In fact, the regulations may 
even be observed to enable us to 
escape our duty with a clear con- 
scious. We cry "Corban" all too 
easily, and by our tradition "make 
God's word null and void."^^ By ap- 
pealing literalistically to irrelevant 
ancient forms of the law, it is pos- 
sible in the name of the law to justify 
ourselves in outrageous indifference 
to human need or even in heinous 
exploitation of our brothers. 

But an even worse hypocrisy arises 
out of the simulation of a true rela- 
tionship to God based on our good 
works. We were made for sonship, 
wherein good works would be done 
spontaneously as the expression of 
our filial relation to God. But our 

'^Op. cit.. Volume III, p. 506, 

SRomans 6:1, NEB. 

^The Kingdom of God (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1953), p. 262. 

ioMark7:12f, NEB. 


pride and self-will turn our efforts 
into self-conscious means of ingra- 
tiating ourselves with God, and thus 
become self-defeating. In fact, our 
very success in keeping regulations 
fosters pride of achievement and a 
meritorious claim on God which 
falsify our sonship and turn us into 
moral day-laborers for wages. Success 
in moral endeavor can actually alien- 
ate us from our Father. It can make 
us eider brothers who do not know 
what home is, nor what is our true 
relationship to our Father. "You 
know how I have slaved for you all 
these years," cried out the angry, self- 
righteous older brother; "I never once 
disobeyed your orders; and you never 
gave me so much as a kid, for a feast 
with my friends. But now that this 
son of yours turns up, after running 
through your money with his women, 
you kill the fatted calf for him."^^ 
He thought sonship was based on 
wages; and when the father's love 
was lavished on one who had not 
earned it, he pouted and "refused to 
go in." His very success in obedience 
had vitiated the meaning of sonship 
for him and distorted his true rela- 
tion to his father. Such is the decep- 
tive paradox of legalism. We dare 
not, therefore, preach law without 

We must avoid preaching which 
even suggests that if one abandons 

certain grosser forms of evil and 
indulges in certain acts of religious 
worship, he has thereby earned the 
divine favor. We dare not, when 
people ask v/hat they must do to 
inherit eternal life, answer: "You 
know the commandments." "These 
do, and thou shalt live." For 
they may then rest in the easy an- 
swer, "All these I have observed 
from my youth," and mistakenly con- 
clude: "I am rich, I have prospered, 
and I need nothing," not knowing 
that they are "wretched, pitiable, 
poor, blind, and naked."^^ 

If legalism does not, however, thus 
rob men of their sincerity, it will, on 
the other hand, land them with Paul 
in despair. Even to hint at the hope 
that by keeping the law one may be 
set in right relation to God is to chal- 
lenge a sincere man to heroic effort. 
But in spite of his effort, failure is 
bound to come. The more sincere he 
is, the more his failure will plague 
him with guilt. In order to overcome 
the guilt and to avoid its damaging 
accusations in the future, the harder 
he will try, the more severely he will 
discipline himself. This more strenu- 
ous effort will, in turn, make the next 
failure the more unbearable and 
plunge him the deeper into distress. 
And so the vicious cycle plays itself 
out — effort, failure, guilt; harder 
effort, further failure, deeper guilt; 

iiLuke 15:29f, NEB. 

i2Luke 18:20f., 10:28; Revelation 3:17. 


still more strenuous effort, more 
tragic failure, more damaging guilt. 
As Bishop Nygren has pointed out in 
his commentary on Romans, the 
problem is not one of a divided will, 
but of the inability of the will to 
achieve what it wills.^^ During Paul's 
days under the lav/, his will was 
always united and always on God's 
side. But he found out what every 
sincere man who tries by his own 
efforts to keep the law finally dis- 
covers: "I can will what is right, but 
I cannot do it: For I do not do the 
good I want, but the evil I do not 
want is what I do." There is civil war 
within, a "schism in the soul." Strug- 
gle though one will to free him- 
self, he is made "captive to the law 
of sin which dwells" within him.^^ 
John Dov/ pictures the struggle thus: 
The Pharisee "had seen before him 
a long, long toiling in rowing, stroke 
following stroke in painful inch-by- 
inch progress against wind and tide; 
he was to reach his destination only 
through incessant effort. Paul had 
found that kind of voyage a night- 
mare. The human craft was leaky 
and fragile, and the rocks and shoals 
beyond his power to negotiate. He 
saw certain shipwreck though he 

rowed with all the fury of a desperate 
man. No one could reach harbor by 
his own efforts."^^ Try as he would 
to gain the shore, the force of the 
tide was too strong for him. He 

. . . like to the vessel in the tideway 
Which lacking favouring breeze hath 

not the power 
To stem the powerful current. . . . ^^ 

Despair lies at the end of the path of 
legalism for a sincere man. As a car 
stuck in the mud sinks the deeper 
the more the motor is gunned, so the 
predicament of a morally honest man 
becomes worse the more he tries to 
extricate himself. The outcome of 
his sternest effort is: "Wretched man 
that I am!"" 

Surely our preaching ought not to 
leave men in despair. It must be 
something other than moralism. We 
must not stand on the shore shouting 
encouragem^ent in a high voice to 
men whose very effort to which we 
urge them is doomed from the start. 
It may be that such preaching is prel- 
ude to the gospel. It may be neces- 
sary at times to drive men to despair 
before they can really hear the "good 

i^Anders Nygren, Commentary on Romans (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1949), 

pp. 290f. 
i4Romans7:18f, 23. 

i5"ConvictIon and Action," Interpretation, October, 1953, p. 394. 
i^Quoted in David Smith, Disciples' Commentary on the New Testament (New York: 

Harper and Brothers, 1928), p. 399. 
i7Romans 7 :24. 


news." James Denny once remarked 
that not intellectual acumen but de- 
spair was necessary to understand 
Paul. So despair may be the abyss 
from which the gospel may be truly 
heard, and the preaching of the law 
may in some instances drive men to 
the depths from which they may 
hear God's v/ord of grace. But de- 
spair is no virtue in itself. And 
preaching which drives sincere men 
into the abyss of moral defeat with- 
out the accompanying note of God's 
"good news" of victory in Christ is 
law without gospel and a betrayal of 
our calling. 


As WAS INDICATED at the begin- 
ning, however, a likely greater dan- 
ger in our time is the preaching of 
gospel without law, as though the 
law were abrogated rather than ful- 
filled in Christ and no longer has any 
relevance. Such preaching not only 
tells men, "God loves you just as you 
are," but strongly implies, "God 
doesn't much care that you are what 
you are." This presents God as an 
indulgent rather than a holy Father, 
and sponsors a "cheap" grace with 
no judgment m it. As H. H. Rowley 
has put iv. "In our age the thought 
of the Judgment has receded far into 
the background, and there is a wide- 
spread idea that what we do with our 

lives is of little moment. . . . We set 
love and justice over against one 
another, and imagine that a God of 
love can have no use for justice, and 
therefore there can be no Judg- 
ment."^'^ This ends in a libertinism 
which is often amoral and sometimes 
positively immoral, a conscienceless 
Christianity with no ethical dynamic. 
It is natural to expect always a cer- 
tain number of downright hypocrites 
in the church, whose lives make no 
effort to embody their profession and 
whose outward loyalty to the church 
is consciously intended to cloak their 
unrighteousness with respectability. 
The problem in our time, however, 
is rather that the law has been so 
silenced that men mix the faith and 
the world without any seeming con- 
sciousness of hypocrisy. The con- 
tiguity of religious and irreligious 
programs on television is a case in 
point. One sees and hears an elo- 
quent plea to attend church and fos- 
ter spiritual values; then a split sec- 
ond later, without changing the dial, 
he hears an equally eloquent plea to 
find the real meaning of life in some 
rather gross form of worldliness, or 
sees downright sordidness presented 
so appealingly and repetitiously that 
in the subconscious mind, at least, 
these become naturally associated as 
though they quite inevitably belong 
together. Movie stars grow rich by 
the exploitation of their bodies in 

'^^The Relevance of Apocalyptic (London: Lutterworth Press, 1944), p. 165. 



obscene suggestiveness, business men 
increase profits by systematic evasion 
of the law, students cheat their way 
through examxinations, citizens lie 
their v\^ay out of income tax obliga- 
tions through fabricated expense ac- 
counts or unreported income, civic 
authorities flaunt the law and avoid 
enforcing k for a bribe or a vote, 
young and old engage in drunken de- 
bauchery and sexual irregularities — 
and move without conscience from 
all this to the worship of God as 
though such things were in no sense 
incompatible with it. And one sus- 
pects that in many cases this is not 
the result of conscious hypocrisy, but 
rather that people have been fed a 
gospel which avoids all judgment and 
awakens no conscience in them. They 
seriously believe that Christian free- 
dom means life without discipline 
and no control on indulgences. We 
preachers have given them the im- 
pression that, as Dr. Gossip put it, 
"they do not need to worry over- 
much, since, happily, God is an ami- 
able Being who does not really bother 
about our bits of sins, but whatever 
he may have said, will let us off, and 
pass us through."^ ^ 

John Wesley gives a vivid example 
of this view of things in a recorded 
conversation with a Christian liber- 
tine of his day. "Do you believe you 

have nothing to do with the law of 
God.^" Wesley asked. "I have not," 
came the answer. "I am not under the 
law: I live by faith." "Have you, as 
living by faith, a right to everything 
in the world?" "I have; all is mine, 
since Christ is mine." "May you, then, 
take anything you will anywhere? 
Suppose out of a shop, without the 
consent or knowledge of the owner?" 
"I may, if I want it; for it is mine. 
Only I will not give offence." "Have 
you also a right to all the women in 
the world?" "Yes, if they consent." 
"And is not that a sin?" "Yes, to him 
that thinks it is a sin; but not to those 
whose bearfs are free."^^ 

This, too, is as old as the first cen- 
tury. An acaedited member of the 
church in Corinth engaged in "im- 
morality such as even pagans do not 
tolerate: the union of a man with 
his father's wife."^^ This was no 
secret affair which had inadvertently 
come to light. It was done openly 
with the approval, at least, of those 
of the "Christ" party in the church 
who argued: "We are free to do any- 
thing."^^ This was, therefore, mo- 
mentarily an approved form of Chris- 
tianity in Corinth. It was a trium- 
phant claim to freedom from tradi- 
tion, custom, and law on the basis 
that freedom in Christ sanctifies any 
form of behaviour, that grace hal- 

i^'The Whole Counsel of God," Interpretation, July, 1947, p. 328. 
200^. cit., pp. 237f. 

211 Corinthians 5:1, NEB. 
221 Corinthians 10:23, NEB. 



lows any breach of moral integrity. 
And how contemporary it sounds! It 
was gospel without law. It was the 
old rock on which ancient Israel was 
broken — covenant without condi- 
tions, deliverance without demand, 
redemption without responsibility, 
sonship without obedience, faith 
without commitment, belief that does 
not influence behavior. 

Both Old and New Testament pro- 
nounce this a perversion of the faith. 
The Old Covenant was a covenant of 
sheer grace. God acted graciously in 
Israel's behalf on his own initiative 
when they deserved it not one whit. 
But for this very reason, the covenant 
laid heavy demands on Israel. John 
Bright has well said: "Israel could 
never properly take her status as a 
chosen people for granted; it was 
morally conditioned. . . . The cove- 
nant bond . . . was . . . neither me- 
chanical nor eternal. While it could 
not be called a bargain — it was not 
between equals — it nevertheless par- 
took of the nature of a bargain in 
that it was a bilateral compact. God 
would give Israel a destiny as his 
people, would defend and establish 
her, but only so long as she obeyed 
him. The covenant . . . demanded . . . 
a grateful and complete loyalty to the 
God of the covenant to the exclusion 

of all other gods. Equally, it de- 
manded strict obedience to the laws 
of the covenant in all human rela- 
tionships within the covenant broth- 
erhood."^^ God's covenant demanded 
the response which Israel agreed to 
at Sinai: "All that the Lord has 
spoken we will do, and we will be 
obedient."-'* And when Israel refused 
this promised obedience, God had to 
say, sorrowfully but frankly: "You 
are not my people and I am not your 

For the New Testament judgment 
on the failure of moral response to 
God's grace, it is sufficient to look at 
Paul's handling of the incestuous 
member of the Corinthian Church: 
"This man is to be consigned to 
Satan for the destruction of the body, 
so that his spirit may be saved on the 
Day of the Lord."^*' Adolf Schlatter 
suggests that Paul intended physical 
death to the man, through which 
judgment he hoped that he would be 
led to penitence and final redemp- 
tion.-' Lest we think Paul too severe 
in this, let us remember Jesus' words 
about the wicked servant whose Lord 
graciously forgave him an immense 
debt, but who did not respond to this 
in his behavior toward others. Said 
Jesus: "In anger his lord delivered 
him to the jailers;" and then He 

230^. cit., p. 29. 

24Exodus 24:7. 

25Hosea 1:9. 

2^1 Corinthians 5:5. 

27Cf. The Church in the New Testament Period (London: S.P.C.K., 1955), p. 184. 



added this terrible judgment to those 
who acted likewise: "So also my 
heavenly father will do to every one 
of you."^^ Neither Old nor New 
Testament knows anything of gospel 
without law. Floyd Filson has re- 
minded us: "Pagan cults never 
equaled the moral seriousness which 
emerges in the prophetic demand of 
the Old Testament and finds deep- 
ened echo in the New Testament. 
Here faith and daily living are tied 
together in one united witness to 
God; the whole life is to be an act of 
obedience to God."^^ 

To miss this note in the Bible is to 
read it with one eye shut, for every 
exhortation to moral behavior and 
ethical living — and the Bible is full 
of them — must be overlooked. Ob- 
viously, the libertines in first-century 
Corinth and in twentieth-century 
Protestantism could not claim Paul 
as their colleague. Even though Paul 
was the great champion of Christian 
freedom, when freedom was turned 
into license Paul had to be disowned 
and his ethical teaching abandoned. 
Nor could James or Peter be brought 
in as witnesses to sanction freedom 
from the ethical demands of the law. 
Since apostolic authority was taken 
seriously in the early church, some 

semblance of apostolic sanction must 
surely have been sought by the Corin- 
thian libertines. Schlatter suggests 
that there are "points of contact be- 
tween St. John's presentation of the 
Gospel and the new theology' of the 
Christ party at Corinth."^ ^ John was 
the apostle of light and love, who 
contrasted the "grace and truth" 
which came through Jesus Christ with 
the law "given through Moses."^^ 
From John, therefore, "it was but a 
small step to the Corinthian Gospel 
with the triumphant vitality and un- 
restricted freedom of the Clirist 
party."^- But as Schlatter points out, 
"This step had been taken when only 
the positive side of the Johannine 
Gospel was appropriated, and the 
negative side, which is just as serious, 
was ignored. St. John taught that the 
light drives out the darkness, truth 
kills falsehood, and love destroys 
hatred. This antithesis, so essential to 
Johannine teaching, was missing in 
the Corinthian theology."^"^ It is safe 
to say that no biblical witness, when 
taken in its wholeness, can be sum- 
moned to support gospel without 

Law is necessary not only to regu- 
late the disintegrating forces in sec- 
ular society, to set limits to the overt 

28Matthew 18:24f. 

"^^ Jesus Christ the Risen Lord (New York: Abingdon Press, 1956), p. 178. 

300/?. cit., p. 186. 

3iJohn 1:17. 

22SchIatter, op. cit., p. 187. 



expression of evil in the natural order 
without which chaos would ensue, 
but is necessary for the Christian who 
has been set free in Christ. And that 
for several reasons. 

For one thing, the law is necessary 
to sit in judgment on that part of us 
which is not yet Christian — to judge 
the "old man" whom we must reckon 
to be dead, but who is still very much 
alive and kicking. As Luther insisted, 
the Christian man h saint and sinner 
at the same time. And the law exists 
to take the measure of the "old 
Adam," who no longer reigns within 
us but works surreptitiously in the 
underground and must be ferreted 
out from every secret corner of our 
lives. As Melancthon put it, "The 
law indicates the sickness" from 
which we need the healing of the 
gospel at every moment.^* Luther 
adds: "We are to fast, pray, labor, to 
subdue and suppress lust. . . . While 
flesh and blood continue, so long sin 
remains; wherefore it is ever to be 
struggled against. Whoever has not 
learned this by his own experience, 
must not boast that he is a Chris- 
tian."^^ A modern theologian, Emil 
Brunner, sums it up well when he 
writes: "True as it is that as a be- 

liever the Christian is no longer 
under the law, as a sinner he con- 
tinually comes under it. . . . In so far 
... as sin — in the Christian — is con- 
cerned, the law remains operative; 
for sin must die, it must be judged 
and condemned, even and partic- 
ularly, where one stands in faith, in 
the new life. For that very reason 
Luther insists, in his campaign 
against the Anti-nomians, that the 
law must remain, not merely for 
'blockheads' but also for believers, in 
order that they should not fall into a 
false security."^^ Wilhelm Anderson 
has used the apt figure of the func- 
tion of a dog's leash to express this: 
Insofar as a dog on leash obeys his 
master's order to "heel," the leash is 
irrelevant. But when he begins to 
stray, the leash tightens and calls at- 
tention to his tendency to stray.^^ So 
the law, although irrelevant to the 
"new man in Christ" within us is still 
necessary to curb the "old man" with- 
in us which struggles against the 
Lordship of Christ. 

The law is further necessary for 
the Christian to interpret Christian 
freedom as Christian obedience. Free- 
dom does not mean escape from 
dut}^; it means that one is free to do 

^^Quoted by Norman F. Langford, "Gospel and Duty," Interpretation, July, 1951, 
from Melancthon's hoci Communes. 

^^Quoted by Hugh Thomson Kerr, Jr., in A Compend of Luther's Theology (Phila- 
delphia: The "Westminster Press, 1943), p. 114, from Luther's Commentary on 
Peter and Jude. 

'^Man in Revolt (London: Lutterworth Press, 1939), p. 525. 

^"^Law and Gospel (New York: Association Press, 1961), p. 32. 



his duty, and to find therein his true 
freedom and joy. Augustine put it: 
"The law is given that grace may be 
sought; grace is giv^n that the law 
may be fulfilled."^^ Or as George 
Richards said: "The gift of grace be- 
comes the task of life." "For the be- 
liever faith is obedience just as 
obedience is real only when it is 
faith."^^ But perhaps the strongest 
statement of this is by Paul: "You 
who were once slaves of sin have be- 
come obedient from the heart to the 
standard of teaching to which you 
were committed, and, having been 
set free from sin, have become slaves 
of righteousness . . . slaves of God."^^ 
Christian freedom, then, is nothing 
other than a new bondage — one ex- 
changes his slavery to sin for slavery 
to righteousness. Paul's highest boast 
was that he was "a slave of Jesus 
Christ."'^^ He found his freedom in 
servitude to his redeemer. George 
Matheson caught this insight of 
Paul's when he wrote: 

Make me a captive, Lord, 
And then I shall be free; 
Force me to reiider up my sword, 
And I shall conqueror be.-^ 

But the obedience of which Paul 
spoke was not a forced obedience, a 
new legalism; it was the obedience 
of "the heart" in which he found his 
true joy. Obedience to God is the 
spontaneous response of faith in 
gratitude for redemption. The law 
reminds the Christian to interpret his 
freedom as obedience "from the 
heart" to God. The Gospel "frees us 
to do our duty," and "our duty — 
accepted as the light yoke of Christ — 
is our freedom."^^ 

The law also has as its function to 
relate Christian freedom to Christian 
love. The whole tragic situation at 
Corinth, says Adolf Schlatter, "orig- 
inated from the one source: from the 
mistaken divorce of freedom from 
love."^^ The desire for freedom with- 
out law, even though it is often justi- 
fied in the name of love, is basically 
love's opposite — the prideful expres- 
sion of self-will and self-centered- 
ness. To justify freedom from one's 
obligations to one's neighbor or to 
one's group in the name of grace, as 
is often done, is an effort to cloak 
self-centeredness in piosity and to 
give religious sanction to downright 
deviltry. Students sometimes try to 

p. 426. 
^^ Beyond 
^^Qi. The 
^^Op. cit., 

by F. Bertram Clogg, "Abiding Standards," Interpretation, October, 1950, 

Fundamentalism and Modernism, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 
pp. 269, 184. 

1:1; cf. also 1 Corinthians 7:22. 

Hymnbook, (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1955), p. 308. 
F. Langford, op. cit., p. 284. 
p. 178. 



compensate for poor work by de- 
manding the acceptance of love based 
on the gospel. Employees justify lazi- 
ness and failure to fulfill their obliga- 
tions to their employer because they 
are liYing under grace and not law. 
Men and women violate the sanctity 
of each other's bodies in the name of 
a freedom which makes all things 
pure to the pure. Christians flaunt 
their free behavior before their 
weaker brothers who have scruples, 
claiming to have both a knowledge 
of the faith and a wisdom, superior to 
those of tender conscience. All of 
these, justified in the name of 
Christian freedom, are m.anifestations 
of pride and self-aggrandizement. 
" 'Knowledge' puffs up, but love 
builds up," said Paul.*'^ True free- 
dom is the liberating effect which 
brings freedom to others, and saves 
one from selfishly manifesting "the 
sense of power" by which he exalts 
himself "above Namre, the Law, and 
the Church."-^^ 

Wesley's penetrating insight into 
the springs of human action singled 
out pride as the root of antinom- 
ianism. He writes: "The Antinomian 
teachers had labored hard to destroy 
this poor people. I talked an hour 
with the chief of them. ... I was in 
doubt whether pride had not m.ade 

him mad."-^ He adds elsewhere: "To 
desire to do what God commands, 
but not as a command, is to affect, 
not freedom, but independency. Such 
independency as St. Paul had not; for 
though the Son had made him free, 
yet was he not without law to God, 
but under the law to Christ: such as 
the holy angels have not; for they 
fulfill His commandments, and 
hearken to the voice of His words: 
yea, such as Christ Himself had not; 
for as the Father' had given Him 
'commandment,' so He 'spake.'"*® 
Independence from God is the ulti- 
mate pride. This pride is man's curse, 
and love is its aire. The law exists to 
keep freedom tied to its moorings in 

A further function of the law is to 
make love intelligent. Love needs 
guide lines for its expression; other- 
wise, with the best of intentions it 
may wound the very object of its 
love. Many a hurt in family life, for 
example, has come not so much from 
a failure of love as from stupidity. 
Lack of understanding, lack of sensi- 
tivity, lack of knowledge, may cause 
wounds by those whose love is pure 
and unstinted. Love needs instruc- 
tion as to how its high intentions 
may find adequate embodiment. The 
Torab to the devout Jew was far 

*51 Corinthians 8:1. 
^''Schlatter, op. cit., p. 176. 
470/?. cit., Volume III, p. 237. 
^^Op. cit., Volume II, p. 356. 



more than a catalogue of "do's" and 
"don't's." It literally meant "instruc- 
tion." It was in the Tor ah that men 
were instructed in love's adequate 
response to God. "Thy testimonies 
are my delight, they are my counsel- 
ors," says the writer of the 119th 
Psalm. "Through thy precepts I get 
understanding. . . . Thy word is a 
lamp to my feet and a light to my 
path.""^^ The "rules of the game" in 
any sport are not intended to im- 
pede freedom, but to impart intel- 
ligent control to group activity in 
order to gain maximum freedom. 
The highest sportsmanship without 
an adequate knowledge of the rules 
will issue in countless fouls. God's 
law makes love for Him and for one's 
neighbor intelligent, so as to reduce 
the number of needless and uninten- 
tional fouls. James speaks of it as 
"the law that makes us free."^^ As 
Suzanne de Dietrich has indicated, 
what men perversely see as "a re- 
striction of their freedom" is God's 
will through the law "to establish 
conditions of peace and justice that 
will make liberty possible."^^ Law is 
essential to the intelligent expression 
of freedom in love. 

The law is necessary, too, in 
indicating what the will of God is 

4"Psalm 119:104, 105. 

sojames 1:25, NEB. 

^^From unpublished material. 

520/7. cit., pp. 8, 9. 

531 Corinthians 13:12, NEB. 

s^Quoted by Langford, op. cit., p. 271. 

in the world. As Wilhekn Anderson 
has said, Christian freedom "can 
exist only in a right relationship to 
the revealed and gracious will of 
God. . . . The church of Jesus Christ 
is that company of men on earth, in 
whom it is the purpose of God that 
His good will revealed in Jesus Christ 
should take on visible form."^^ We 
affirm this when we pray in the 
Lord's Prayer, "Thy will be done, on 
earth as it is in heaven." But what 
is this will? It is that all men should 
be restored to right relations to Him 
and thus to each other. But what 
does this involve? Conceivably, sin- 
less men might know. But we are sin- 
ners, and at our best "see only puz- 
zling reflections in a mirror," we 
know only "in part."^^ The law, then, 
aids us by revealing what God's will 
for the world is. Calvin called this the 
principal function of the law, to give 
Christians "a better and more cer- 
tain understanding of the Divine will 
to which they aspire, and to confirm 
them in the knowledge of it."'^* 
Zwingli concurs: "The law is nothing 
else but the eternal will of God . . . 
the doctrine of God's will through 
which we learn what he wills and 
what he does not will, what he de- 
mands and what he forbids. . . . The 



law is the eternal and abiding will of 
God."^^ The law, of course, does not 
lay down specific precepts which 
direct every action and command 
every decision. But, as Professor 
Walther Eichrodt has put it, it lays 
out "the lines along which a life 
pleasing to God must move, if it is 
not to be overcome by the destruc- 
tive urges and forces which dwell 
within it," and offers "guiding lines" 
and "basic insights ... for our own 
actions."^*^ God's will for His world 
must be sought in the law. 

Other reasons could be given, but 
these are more than sufficient to 
indicate that the preaching of gospel 
without law has no sanction in the 
Scriptures or in the central stream of 
Christian history, and may lead to 
damage beyond repair. Christian 
"freedom" which sets loose the "old 
Adam" in us, which permits our un- 
regenerate natures to express them- 
selves without restraint, is merely a 
continuance in the slavery of sin. The 
end of the path, for the individual or 
the church, is destruction. The law is 
"fulfilled," not abrogated, by Jesus. 
There is little value in what Forsyth 
called seeking "to be modern by the 
way of extenuation rather than real- 
ism, by palliation rather than pene- 
tration, by moral tenderness rather 
than by moral probing, by poetry 

rather than prophesying, by nursing 
where surgery is required." Forsyth 
goes on to remind us that there was 
in the Judaism of Jesus' day "a mild, 
humane, and attractive school of the 
law in contrast to those teachers who 
pressed it unto unsparing detail." 
But Jesus opposed this "kind and 
genial" school as vigorously as its 
opposite. The reason was that "His 
freedom in relation to the law lay 
not in getting rid of it, not in easing 
it. He preached no mere emancipa- 
tion. He was not antinomian. What 
He brought was not a general dis- 
pensation. The imperative note was 
always in the front of His preaching. 
He always recognized the law as the 
will of God. . . . Law for him . . . 
was no piece of Judaism to be over- 
thrown with Pharisaism, but it was 
the expression of God's holy will to 
be honoured in his Son."'^' The law, 
properly understood, is still binding 
on the Christian. True faith issues in 
good works, and the Bible is not 
averse to proper rules of conduct 
being held before people in preach- 
ing. God's covenant of love demands 
a response of love. And a true re- 
sponse of love to God consists not in 
mere sentimental feelings but in 
shouldering the vigorous demands of 
duty. John Bright has stated this 
well: "Repelled by all legalism, we 

s^Quoted by Richards, op. cit., p. 184. 

^^"Revelation and Responsibility," Interpretation, October, 1949, p. 391. 
^'''P. T. Forsyth, Positive Preaching and the Modern Mind (London: Hodder & Stough- 
ton, 1919), pp. 154f. 



have come close to the point of 
apologizing for any duty religion 
seems to involve, nay, have offered a 
religion almost without the demand 
of duty at all. It is time we heeded 
the lesson . . . that . . . Christianity 
does involve duty. And that duty is 
to obey God, not in general and as it 
is convenient, but in every detail and 
without exceptions."^^ There is no 
true gospel without law. 


What then.^ How may the 
church "escape the two dangers 
which at all times threaten it: on the 
one hand the danger of transforming 
the Gospel of Jesus Christ into a 
moral law by conformity to which a 
man can be saved; and on the other 
hand the danger of reducing the mes- 
sage of salvation in Jesus Christ to 
a set of ideas which can be intellec- 
tually held without any necessary 
effects on life and conduct? ""^^ If we 
cannot preach law without gospel, 
nor gospel without law, what is the 
relationship of the law to preaching? 
We must preach the gospel in the law 
and the law in the gospel. For pur- 
poses of analysis, the two may be kept 
separate and distinct, but actually they 

contain each other. Every promise of 
the gospel contains an imperative. 
All gospel contains law. The word to 
Abraham was: "I will bless you," but 
the blessing was to come only as 
Abraham responded to the command, 
"Go." On the other hand, every im- 
perative of the law involves a prom- 
ise: Abraham could "go" because 
there was a "land that I v/ill show 
you. And I will make of you a great 
nation, and I will bless you. . . . "^^ 
All law contains gospel. Dr. Herbert 
Alleman once called the Ten Com- 
mandments God's "charter of freed- 
men. The 'ten words' . . . are not pro- 
hibitions as law. ... As the Hebrew 
negative (lo', not 'al) indicates, these 
so-called commandments' should be 
translated, not 'Thou shalt not,' but 
'Thou wilt not.' "^^ In other words, 
the Ten Commandments are a prom- 
ise of what Israel is to become by 
God's grace. This is reinforced by 
R. W. Dale who wrote: "The very 
laws of God are promises. . . . That 
God tells us how to live, proves that 
he still cares for our obedience; nay. 
His precepts indicate, not so much 
the measure of the strength to obey 
Him that we naturally possess, as the 
measure of the help which he intends 
to afford to our obedience."*^ ^ 

580^. cit., p. 177. 
s^Anderson, op. cit., p. 8. 
«0Genesis 12:1-3. 

^I'Tersonal Religion," Interpretation, July, 1948, p. 302. 
^-The Jewish Tem-ple and the Christian Church, (London: 
1896), p. 236. 

Hodder and Stoughton, 



The promise of the command- 
ments is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. He 
has identified Himself with us in 
such fashion that the command- 
ments have found their fulfillment. 
He fulfilled them for us, in our place. 
Therefore, when in the Sermon on 
the Mount Jesus gives the higher law 
of the New Kingdom and demands 
that our righteousness shall exceed 
the righteousness of the Scribes and 
Pharisees, he is not offering a new 
legalism, demanding a more stren- 
uous effort on our part, injecting a 
higher standard of measurement by 
which we are to be judged. If that 
were the case, as Edouard Thurneysen 
has well said, it becomes "the law 
that kills us. For it becomes im- 
mediately the law that we ought to 
fulfill and no one can fulfill. . . . Then 
the Gospel is silenced. Then the word 
of Jesus becomes the word of pitiless 
demand and judgment. Then Hell 
opens up before us. Then there still 
remains only the curse of despair." 
But it is otherwise when we realize 
that "the law of the Sermon on the 
Mount is the form in which the 
Gospel here comes to us. When we 
see that, then the law which here 
speaks to us will become for us a law 
that does not kill us, but one that 
calls us to life. For in all its words it 
describes nothing else than a life , . . 

that has never and nowhere been at- 
tained, begotten or created by man, 
for we men do not fulfill the law of 
this life: but a life that comes to us 
from Jesus Christ who has fulfilled 
the law of this life — as the only 
ONE who has done it. That this life 
comes to us from Christ is grace, al- 
lowing us to see and value it ... as 
if it were our own life (and in Jesus 
Christ it has become our own life! ) , 
that is faith. So, in this way our life 
becomes righteous before God from 
grace through faith. That is the 
Gospel in the law of the Sermon on 
the Mount."^^ 

At this point the true humanity of 
Jesus becomes precious. As man, for 
man, He fulfilled the law. What does 
God demand of man? He demands 
from sinful man perfect penitence. 
But who can offer to God a penitence 
commensurate with the enormity of 
his sin? Herein lies the meaning of 
Jesus' baptism. In response to John's 
call for repentance the multitudes 
came to the Jordan. But says Luke, 
"When all the people were baptized, 
. . . Jesus also" was baptized.^* Why 
connect Jesus' baptism with that of 
the people? Because therein lay its 
significance. The people accepted a 
"baptism of repentance for the for- 
giveness of sins,"^^ but their repent- 
ance was inadequate and their sins 

^^The Sermon on the Mount, an unpublished manuscript. 





not remitted. Jesus, the Sinless One 
— and only a sinless one can know 
the enormity of sin — also accepted a 
baptism of repentance for the remis- 
sion of sins, not for His own sins, but 
for theirs. He offered an adequate 
penitence in place of their inadequate 

The law also demands that we 
should believe. Can we believe? Yes, 
but not adequately. The best we can 
do is to cry out: "I believe; help my 
unbelief."^*^ But in place of our in- 
adequate belief, Jesus offered to God 
in our stead a perfect faith. The law 
demands, too, that we obey. Do we 
obey.^ Occasionally, and partially; but 
more often we disobey. And what is 
worse, our very obedience becomes a 
source of independence from God, 
which is the worst disobedience. You 
know the book title. Pride and How 
I Overcame It! and its companion 
volume. Humility and How I At- 
tained it! But Jesus, in our stead, 
offered to God a perfect obedience. 
He fulfilled the law for us. 

So the law now becomes a picture 
of what we are in Jesus Christ. It is 
promise. "Beloved, we are God's chil- 
dren now; iX. does not yet appear 
what we shall be, but we know that 
when he appears we shall be like 
him, for we shall see him as he is."^" 
The Sermon on the Mount is not a 
new demand on our own effort. It is 

rather the autobiography of Jesus 
Christ — a picture of what He was. 
But it is also a picture of what we 
are in Him. There is, therefore, gos- 
pel in this law. It is a promise held 
out before us in which we hope by 

Does the law, then, lay any obliga- 
tion on us? Yes. We have already 
seen that we cannot be libertines. But 
the law is not now so much a demand 
as it is an offer. This is what we are 
in Jesus Christ. The imperative, then, 
is merely this: Become what you are 
in Jesus Christ! In a recent article by 
Gerhard von Rad on the law and the 
gospel in Deuteronomy, he indicates 
that the exhortations in both Old and 
New Testament are "a form of 
theological speech, the peculiarity of 
which has only in our day been 
theologically clarified: paraclesis, a 
form which is developed extensively 
in the New Testament epistles . . . 
paraclesis is quite other than a moral- 
izing sermon. It does not think of 
calling into question the indicative 
of the gospel; it is rather a speech of 
exhortation directed to those who 
have already received the word of 
salvation. It has occasionally been 
said that paraclesis could be summed 
up in the phrase — 'become what you 
are' . . . 'let not your heart faint; . . . 
for the Lord your God is he that goes 
before you' (Deut. 20:3f) — this is 

«6Mark 9:24. 
«71 John 3:2. 



... an exhortation in view of the 
indicative fact of salvation."^^ 

This interaction of the indicative 
and the imperative, of the law and 
the gospel, is closely related in the 
New Testament to the work of the 
Holy Spirit. Eduard Schweizer has 
shown that living "in the Spirit" not 
only involves the indicative faa "that 
a man's life depends not on his own 
but on an alien strength," but also 
contains the imperative "that he 
should live his life relying upon that 
alien strength and not his own" — 
that "he should let the strength which 
does in fact mould his life also be the 
standard at which he aims."^^ Hence, 
the Spirit is both the creative origin 
of the Christian's life and the stand- 
ard by which his life is patterned. 
To live "in the Spirit," then, or by 
"the Standard of the Spirit," is pos- 
sible only as the gift of God's grace. 
Hence, continues Schweizer, "the 
notable pronouncement" in Romans 
8:4 is that "in consequence of the 
saving event the requirement of the 
law is fulfilled in (not by) those who 
walk after the Spirit and not after 
the flesh." The promise in the law, 
through the Spirit, is that we may 
live in God's "saving sphere of 

On the other hand, it is the cove- 
nant that, both in the Old Testament 
and the New, puts law in the gospel. 
God's covenant claim on Israel means 
that Israel belonged solely and com- 
pletely to Him and was to manifest 
His will in life. Hence, the law was 
given to make clear what God's will 
was, and thus what the significance of 
the covenant in life was. Granted 
that Israel did not fulfill the law and 
that a new covenant was therefore 
needed, this did not do away with 
the law. "I will make a new cove- 
nant" is accompanied by: "I will put 
my law within them, and I will write 
k upon their hearts."'^ The law is 
still there, deepened as the covenant 
is deepened, by going beyond mere 
outward conformity to commands 
into the motives, and purposes, and 
desires of the inmost heart. When 
Paul, therefore, speaks of freedom 
from the law, "he is not opening the 
door to human self -pleasing and self- 
will; he is not thinking of a freedom 
that declares itself to be no longer 
bound by the will of God. What he 
is offering us is freedom from the 
law of sin and death. ... In liberating 
us from giiilt, from anxiet}^ and from 
the law, Christ has not set us free 
from the will of God: He has set us 

^^" Ancient Word and Living Word," Interpretation, January 1961, pp. 6-7. 

^^Spirit of God, (Bible Key Words from Gerhard Kittel's Theologisches Worterhuch 

zum Neuen Testament — London: A. & C. Black, I960), p. 73. 
"^nbid., p. 76. 
7ijeremiah 31:31, 33. 



free to do the will of God."^- 

Luke's story of Zacchaeus presents 
this in a living situation. Arthur John 
Gossip has pointed out that when 
Zacchaeus discovered the grace of 
God he "broke with his past, made 
public confession, announced that he 
was ready to make the most generous 
restitution, that he was done with 
the old life, and had embarked on a 
new and a very different one." Here 
was the new covenant in action, and 
here was the new law in the new 
covenant. Zacchaeus knew that "if 
Jesus was to be his friend, the old 
life would not do."''^ God's holy will 
and not his own would henceforth 
have to be the standard of his living. 
So Zacchaeus found gospel in the 
law, the "good news" that although 
he, as "a chief tax collector" had en- 
riched himself dishonestly at the 
expense of the disinherited and de- 
fenseless poor, yet the spotless Son of 
Man called to him and said: I count 
you worthy of my friendship; "make 
haste and come down; for I must stay 
at your house today."''* Yet Zacchaeus 
also found law in the gospel. If Christ 
was to invade his unworthy life, that 
of which he had defrauded others had 
to be returned, and the self-centered- 
ness of his lust for riches which had 
pumped a steady stream of gain into 
his own coffers must henceforth be- 

come an outgoing love which would 
issue in a stream of beneficent pity 
for the broken and the lost. For 
Zacchaeus law and gospel were inte- 
grated and fused into an inseparable 

And so it is with any who have 
heard the gospel in the law and the 
law in the gospel. Perhaps the inter- 
relationship of love and law may be 
seen in the remark of a young man 
about to be married. At the wedding 
rehearsal all attention was focused 
on the bride and her wishes. Finally 
the minister, seeking to bring the 
groom into some relationship to the 
wedding plans said to him: "Isn't 
there something you would like to 
say about the wedding?" He merely 
replied: "No. Her word is law to me! " 
To know Christ's love is to make His 
word of grace our law. It is to be- 
come what v/e already are in His 
love. Is this not what Paul meant 
when he wrote to the Philippian 
Christians: "Have this mind among 
yourselves, ivhich you have in Christ 

So let our preaching be the preach- 
ing of the gospel in the law and the 
law in the gospel. Let us give heed 
to Wesley's counsel that when we 
preach the law we take "particular 
care to place every part of it in a 
joyful light, as not only a command 

"-Anderson, op. cit., pp. 59, 65. 

'30^ cit., p. 335. 

'^Luke 19:6. 

^^''Philippians 2:5, italics mine. 



but a privilege also . . . and that all 
true obedience springs from love to 
Him grounded on His first loving us 
. . . labour therefore in preaching any 
part of the law, to keep the love of 
Christ continually before their eye: 
that thence they may draw fresh life, 
vigour, and strength to run the way 
of His commandments. . . . For the 
commands are food as well as the 
promises . . . these also duly applied 
not only direct but likewise nourish 
and strengthen the soul. . . . Not that 
I would advise to preach the law 
without the gospel, any more than 
the gospel without the law. Un- 
doubtedly both should be preached 
in their turns; yea both at once, or 
both in one. All the conditional 
promises are instances of this. They 
are law and gospel mixed together. 
According to this model I should 
advise every preacher continually to 

preach the law — the law grafted 
upon, tempered by, and animated 
with the spirit of the gospel. I ad- 
vise him to declare, explain and en- 
force every command of God. But 
meantime to declare in every ser- 
mon . . . that Christ is all in all, our 
wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, 
and redemption: that all life, love, 
strength are from him alone; and all 
freely given to us through faith. And 
k will ever be found that the law 
thus preached both enlightens and 
strengthens the soul: that it both 
nourishes and teaches; that it is the 
guide, 'food, medicine, and stay' of 
the believing soul.'"^^ 

It is only as we thus combine law 
and gospel in our preaching that we 
can at one and the same t'miQ give 
men joyous hope and produce moral 

^A letter of John Wesley quoted by Clogg, op. cit., p. 420. 

Book Reviews and Notes 

Kelso, James L. Archaeology and Our Old Testament Contemporaries. Grand 
Rapids: Zondervan, 1966. Pp. 191 + index. $4.95. 

This book is an unusual and much 
needed contribution to modern Chris- 
tian understanding of our Hebrew 
past. It is neither "fundamentalist" 
nor "liberal," but is written from a 
staunch theologically conservative 
point of view. No popular book of this 
type has ever been so well grounded 
in natural science and the history of 
technology. With a long record of 
excavation in Palestine behind him, 
the author is a reliable guide on 
archaeological matters. 

Having been intimately associated 
with the author since 1926, I have 
learned to appreciate his outstanding 
qualities as a man and as an archae- 
ologist. Like James Henry Breasted, 
who attributed part of his success in 
interpreting Egyptian medical texts 

to his early training as a pharmacist, 
so James L. Kelso has utilized his 
early preparation in the same field 
for the elucidation of technical prob- 
lems in ancient ceramics and metal- 

Two strong currents run through 
this volume: a sustained atmosphere 
of reverence and a common-sense ap- 
proach to human affairs, seasoned by 
flashes of wit. Personally, I find the 
book particularly instructive for its 
unexpected parallels between the 
Biblical and modern worlds. Human- 
ity has indeed remained the same, 
and human culture has changed far 
less than commonly supposed. 

— The Foreword by 

William F. Albright, 

The Johns Hopkins University, 

Pfeiifer, Charles F., ed. The Biblical World. Grand Rapids: Baker Book 
House, 1966. Pp. 612. $8.95. 

The Biblical World bears the sub- 
title, A Dictionary of Biblical Archae- 
ology. Edited by Charles F. Pfeiffer, 
the volume has been prepared with 
the non-specialist in mind. It presents 
reports on the results of modern 

archaeological research in the biblical 
world. Pfeiffer is Associate Professor 
of Ancient Literature at Central 
Michigan University. Claude F. A. 
Schaeffer is one of the consulting 
editors. His work at Ras Shamra is 



well known. George Ernest Wright 
has contributed the article on "Shec- 
hem" and "Beth-shemesh" to this 
volume. The reference to "Taanach" 
has been prepared by Carl Graesser, 
Jr., of Concordia in St. Louis. Con- 
cordia has been excavating Taanach. 
This use of current reports from the 


field is one of the characteristics of 
the book. Dr. James L. Kelso, Pitts- 
burgh's retired professor in archae- 
ology, is the well-qualified contribu- 
tor of four articles in this work: 
"Ceramics," "N.T. Jericho," "Metal- 
lurgy," and "Pottery." 

— Howard M. Jamieson, Jr. 

Porteous, Norman W. Daniel: A Commentary. The Old Testament Library. 
Philadelphia: Westminster, 1965. Pp. 173. $4.00. 

There is no shortage of useful 
commentaries in English on the 
Book of Daniel. Those by Mont- 
gomery, Jeffery, and Heaton are ex- 
cellent works, each with its own 
strength. Hence Norman Porteous 
has shown considerable wisdom by 
not attempting, in this most recent of 
Daniel commentaries, to do again the 
work done so well by others. He 
offers us a difi^erent kind of volume, 
one which refers us to these other 
books for information on technical 
introduction and philological analy- 
sis, and which endeavors to synthesize 
from that information a series of 
essays which will convey the intent 
of the author and the significance for 
the modern reader of each of the 
major units of Daniel. Thus there is 
little in the way of detail that can be 
called new in this book; but in its 

judicious and pertinent formulations 
intended to guide the reader in in- 
terpreting Daniel for our time, there 
is an originality which is of real 

Porteous accepts the usual critical 
conclusions concerning the Mac- 
cabean date of Daniel, its pseudepi- 
graphic character, and the dubious 
nature of some of its historical refer- 
ences (e.g., Darius the Mede). 
Among the great variety of inter- 
pretations of chapter seven which 
have been offered, Porteous chooses 
to adhere most closely to that which 
finds a strongly mythological back- 
ground for the vision of the four 
beasts and the Son of Man. He 
agrees with several recent students of 
the book that Daniel ought not to be 
labeled "apocalyptic" uncritically, 
without consideration of how k dif- 



fers from certain aspects of apocalyp- 
tic thought, and concludes that one 
ought to consider it a unique piece 
of literature, with affinities to several 
earlier types (e.g., Wisdom), and 
with a distinctive witness of its own. 
A reader of this book who was un- 
familiar with the other works to 
which Porteous refers so often would 
probably find that a more technical 
commentary would also have to be 

read in order to understand fully the 
present volume. But the reader who 
is acquainted with scholarly work on 
Daniel will find in every seaion an 
excellent summary of the message, 
with occasional new insights, and will 
find real help for understanding what 
this strange, much interpreted, fre- 
quently misinterpreted book has to 
say to our time. 

— Donald E. Gowan. 

Kraus, Hans- Joachim. Worship in Israel. A Cultic History of the Old Testa- 
ment. Translation of Gottesdienst in Israel (Chr. Kaiser Verlag Miinchen, 
1962), by G. Buswell. Richmond: John Knox, 1966. Pp. xi + 246. 

As in many other fields of Old 
Testament study, the form-critical 
way of considering the texts had a 
strongly stimulating effea on the in- 
vestigation of the Israelite cult. From 
the very beginning, the father of 
form criticism, the German scholar 
Hermann Gunkel, had combined the 
question of the form of the texts 
with the question of their Sitz im 
Lehen. It appeared very soon that 
again and again when the question 
was traced for the Sitz im Lehen, the 
cult and worship stepped into the 
field of vision. So, opposite to the 
ideas of the old Wellhausen school, 
it became evident that already from 
the very beginning the cult played a 
decisive part in the Israelite religious 


However, the investigation of the 
Israelite cult now beginning with 
Gunkel was in the first instance 
burdened with strong onesidednesses 
and theories which tended to lump 
the festivals into one. So S. Mo- 
winckel, e.g., assumed an enthrone- 
ment festival of Yahweh, attempting 
to understand it as the center and 
culmination point of the cultic wor- 
ship in Israel. At his side appeared 
Artur Weiser who assumed the 
festival of the renewal of the cove- 
nant to be the main festival, includ- 
ing in it the elements of the en- 
thronement festival as conceived by 
Mowinckel. All the other cultic cele- 
brations shrank into the background 



over against their onesidedly over- 
stressed "mammoth-festivals." 

The cultic historical investigation 
of the Old Testament received a new 
impetus by the exploration of the 
great religions in Israel's environ- 
ment. Hov/ever, the results of this 
comparative investigation of the 
religions of the ancient Near Eastern 
world was in the first instance partly 
overemphasized by the fact that 
particularly under the influence of 
the British scholar, S. H. Hooke, 
there was postulated for the entire 
ancient Orient a comm^on ojltic pat- 
tern, in which also was included the 
Israelite religion with its cult. But 
in this way, the particularity of the 
Israelite cult was leveled and sub- 
ordinated under an alien scheme. 

This situation as it was here very 
briefly sketched is the background 
for the book by Kraus, Worship in 
Israel. The author is fully aware of 
the fact that actually it would still be 
very difficult to offer at the present 
time a comprehensive presentation of 
the Israelite cult. Many results are 
still too uncertain for such an en- 
deavor. What he has in mind is, 
therefore, much more modest. In the 
foreword of the German edition, he 
writes that he understands his book 
as an outline and as an introduction 
in the cultic historical research. This 
goal the author attains in an excellent 

In resistance to the above men- 

tioned theories, Kraus starts con- 
sidering the Old Testament texts 
with reference to the ailt and takes 
them seriously in their particular 
individuality. That means, the texts 
in question are studied in their re- 
spective historical contexts and ex- 
amined for their traditional historical 
relationships. The proper presenta- 
tion begins with an analysis and con- 
frontation of the so-called cultic 
calendars in the Pentateuch and with 
the consideration of the main festi- 
vals listed in them: the Feast of the 
Passover and the Unleavened Bread, 
the Feast of Weeks and the great 
Autumn Festival. Included in this 
part are the institutions of the Sab- 
batical year and the Year of Jubilee 
as well as New Moon and Sabbath 
and the later new formations, 
Hanukkah and the feast of Purim. 

Then follows a chapter dealing 
with the cultic officials and the sacri- 
ficial system. Here are described the 
Priests and Levites. Kraus relin- 
quishes the widespread assumption 
of a historical connection between 
the tribe of Levi and the priests. 
Rather, Levi was an old designation 
of a priest, having its origin in the 
semi-nomadic form of life. Their 
duty consisted in handling the lot 
casting, "Urim and Thummim," and 
teaching the divine law. In later 
times, in the realm of the temple of 
Jerusalem we find them confronted 
with the Zadokites. It is likely that 



they initially were the priests belong- 
ing to the former Jebusite sanctuary, 
but a definite decision is hardly pos- 
sible. Also, the question as to where 
the strong emphasis of a connection 
between the priests and Aaron has its 
origin as we find it in later sources 
still remains open. 

Just as difficult today as the prob- 
lem of the priests in the Old Testa- 
ment is the problem of the prophets. 
What was their relationship to the 
cult? This is today the decisive ques- 
tion. Kraus avoids speaking quite 
generally of the so-called, "cult 
prophets." With this he avoids a 
term that is very often used today 
but without a clearly defined content. 
In opposition to this Kraus displays 
the individual manifestations of this 
entity which cannot be so easily 
brought under one heading. Kraus' 
assumption of the ministry of a 
prophetic mediator, occupied in a 
continuous succession which has to 
be understood as a continuation of 
the Mosaic ministry of mediation, is 
of particular interest. Probably we 
should have to understand here Sam- 
uel, Elijah, or Ahijah of Shiloh. 

In a further chapter the outstand- 
ing sanctuaries ia Israel and their 
particular cultic traditions are dealt 
with. It is important here that Kraus 
makes it evident that there existed 
already from the very beginning, in 
addition to the different local sanc- 
tuaries, a central sanctuary extending 

in importance beyond all the others. 
In earlier times the location of the 
central sanctuary changed sometimes. 
At first it was Shechem; then we find 
k in Bethel, in Gilgal, and finally in 
Shiloh. In view of this fact, it is im- 
portant that each of these sanctuaries 
was connected with a particular tradi- 
tion, so that the cult celebrated there 
had its own individual character. 
Thus Shechem was combined with 
the covenant and the divine law as 
far as with the tradition of the estab- 
lishment of the sacral confederacy of 
the twelve tribes (Josh. 24 and Deut. 
27). Bethel was, before it became a 
central sanctuary, connected with the 
tradition of the fathers (Gen. 28). 
Later on, it was the state sanctuary 
of the northern kingdom. And in 
Gilgal, finally, the tradition of the 
occupation of the promised land 
(Josh. 3-5) was localized. 

The last chapter deals with the 
state sanctuary in Jerusalem and its 
particular traditions. These traditions 
are new formations caused by the 
establishment of the state, the elec- 
tion of David and Jerusalem, and the 
Royal Festival of Mount Zion. The 
chapter ends with a survey of the cult 
in the postexilic cultic community. 

It is not possible to mention in 
such a review more details or to enter 
a discussion. Many questions are 
raised and sometimes the reader is 
challenged to reply. For instance, are 
we allowed to assume an Israelite tent 


festival in the desert as the origin of 
the tradition of the sacred tent? But 
just such questions make this book 
so stimulating. In completing this 
review, we can say that this book 
gives as clear a picture of the cult as 
is possible at the present time; in- 


deed, it offers a very good insight 
into the problems of the Old Testa- 
ment cult, its officials and its tradi- 
tions, and so it must be recommended 
as a valuable auxiliary means for an 
advanced study of the Old Testa- 

— H. Eberhard von Waldow. 

Fromm, Erich. You Shall Be As Gods: A Radical Interpretation of the Old 
Testament and Its Tradition. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966. 
Pp. 240. 14.95. 

Affirmations of faith based on a 
nontheistic, humanistic outlook are 
common enough these days, but to 
find the OT used as a source docu- 
ment for "radical humanism" is a bit 
of a surprise. Erich Fromm, the noted 
psychoanalyst and philosopher, re- 
veals the influence of his Jewish 
background and his early training 
under Talmudic scholars by the seri- 
ous effort which he has made in this 
volume to find some continuity be- 
tween his view of man and the views 
of the OT and traditional Jewish 
teaching. This attempt is remarkable 
in that, although he does not believe 
in God (he describes his present 
religious position as "nontheistic 
mysticism"), he still considers the 
Bible a document to be taken seri- 
ously, and he is concerned to show 
how it can be relevant to the modern 

This is a well-written work, clear- 
ly and carefully done; it was written 
by a man who knows his source 
material well, so does not contain the 
kind of blunders which often appear 
when men who are not biblical scholars 
interpret the Bible in terms of their 
own specialties; and it contains some 
excellent insights into man's predica- 
ment, based, no doubt, on Fromm's 
own special field of competence, yet 
very often in full accord with the 
Bible's understanding of man. How- 
ever, one must question whether the 
Bible does at all point toward the 
radical humanism of Fromm, and 
whether he has made a proper use of 
the rabbinic material which he has 
put to the same purpose. 

By radical humanism, Fromm 
means "the capacity of man to devel- 
op his own powers and to arrive at 
inner harmony and at the establish- 



merit of a peaceful world" (p. 13). 
The term "God" means for him not 
an absolute reality but a historically 
conditioned concept. He believes he 
has traced the evolution of the God- 
concept through the OT and subse- 
quent Jewish thought. God was first 
understood as an absolute ruler, as in 
Gen. 3, from whom man could gain 
the first vestige of freedom only by 
rebellion. What Eve did was right, 
for it was the only way man could 
aspire to the potential Godhood in 
himself. Fromm recognizes that in 
the main line of biblical thought the 
concept of the image of God means 
man is not God, and cannot become 
God, but can become like God, by 
imitating him; however, he finds oc- 
casional statements which he believes 
imply that the difference between 
God and man can be eliminated; and 
this, for him, is the ideal. Gen. 3 is 
thus not the story of man's "fall," 
but of his awakening; and the suc- 
ceeding account of man's history is 
that of the evolution of man's free- 
dom from his "incestuous ties to 
blood and soil." 

The next stage in the evolution of 
the God concept is the covenant with 
Noah, in which God, by limiting 
himself, is transformed from an 
"absolute" to a "constitutional" mon- 
arch. This covenant and the one with 
Abraham mean that man is no longer 
the slave of God, but can challenge 
him, make demands of him which 

God has no right to refuse (Gen. 
18:23-32). The third step is the 
revelation to Moses that God has no 
name, which is how Fromm inter- 
prets 'ehyeh '^sher 'ehyeh, thus that 
he cannot be represented in any way. 
The call to obey the nameless God 
offers to man the possibility of gain- 
ing freedom from all idols. The next 
to the last stage is to be found in 
Maimonides' declaration that God 
has no essential attributes, and hence 
can only be spoken of in terms of 
negation; the final stage is Fromm's 
description of the x-experience, i.e., 
the "religious" experience of the non- 
theist. Human freedom, then, ulti- 
mately means freedom from God. 
The value of all that is said about 
God in the OT is that obedience to 
these precepts brings freedom from 
idolatry, from all those things un- 
worthy of man's final loyalty; but if 
man is to achieve everything that is 
in his power to do, he must finally 
free himself from every outside au- 
thority, including God. 

Man must gain freedom for him- 
self; there is no God to give him 
supernatural help. But how can a 
slave envisage freedom, or do any- 
thing to gain it? The answer is that 
the move toward freedom is mo- 
tivated by sufifering, which leads man 
to react against his oppressors. The 
Exodus is discussed in detail as an 
example of this, though it is a step 
toward freedom which fails. The two 



aspects of history which interest 
Fromm most are the Exodus and the 
messianic time, the time in which 
man becomes fully human. The main 
point of his lengthy discussion of this 
subject is that the messianic time is 
not brought on by an act of God, but 
will come as man is driven by suffer- 
ing to find new solutions to his prob- 
lems. Nothing is said about what 
man ought to do to bring this about; 
the stress is on the possibility of his 
doing so. Man is not sinful by nature, 
but has a free choice of good or evil. 
The fact of sin does not mean that 
man is corrupt nor should it be any 
reason for contrition or self-accusa- 
tion. Fromm appeals to statements 
about God's readiness to forgive in 
order to show that sin should be no 
cause for sorrow, and that repentance 
means simply to return to the right 
way without remorse. 

The way of life in vv^hich Fromm 
believes has as its central values Life, 
Love, and Freedom. His fervent con- 
cern is to achieve unity, brotherhood, 
peace, harmony among men; and he 
believes that theists and nontheists 
both may contribute. On the last 
page of the Epilogue he alludes to 
his program: "fundamental changes 
in the socioeconomic structure of in- 
dustrialized society (both of capital- 
ist and socialist societies) and of a 
renaissance of humanism that focuses 
on the reality of experienced values 
rather than on the reality of concepts 

and words." 

The author and the reviewer rep- 
resent different faiths, nontheistic 
and theistic; but it is scarcely profit- 
able to criticize his book on that 
level, for theism and nontheism are 
not positions subjea to review on the 
basis of evidence. There are two 
questions, however, where there is 
evidence which can be discussed, and 
where the reviewer remains uncon- 
vinced by Fromm's work. The first is 
a hermeneutical question, dealing 
with the interpretation of doaiments 
and the use of literary and historical 
data. All of us do some selecting of 
the materials that impress us m the 
Bible, and emphasize certain parts 
more than others. One problem every 
interpreter must try to avoid is to 
take from a document certain ele- 
ments which can be interpreted in a 
way different from the main intent 
of the document, then to claim in 
some way the authority of the docu- 
ment for the new interpretation. 
Fromm quite readily admits that the 
materials he selects represent a tiny 
minority of the witnesses in the OT 
and Judaism, and that the main 
stream of the tradition represents a 
quite different view. He admits that 
one can find his humanistic strain 
only by looking back at the material 
from our 20th-century vantage-point; 
so he does not ignore the hermeneu- 
tical problem. Rather, he justifies 
using the material as he does by 



claiming that he finds in the docu- 
ments evidence for an evolution of 
the God-concept and of human free- 
dom, from Adam's rebellion to our 
own time, so that although the whole 
idea of radical humanism is ad- 
mittedly not present in the OT, its 
beginnings are. 

But to what reality does this evolu- 
tionary scheme correspond? It is 
neither founded on the biblical litera- 
ture as it stands, nor on a critical re- 
construction of history. Perhaps it is 
a psychological evolution to which he 
refers. The impression which this 
work makes on an OT specialist is 
that we have here no interpretation 
of the OT, but a scheme whose origin 
has nothing to do with the Bible at 
all, into which a few Bible stories 
and rabbinic sayings have been fitted. 
The result of doing so has been in 
almost every case to make them say 
something their authors did not want 
to say. If there had been a real evolu- 
tion, then this procedure might still 
be justified; for the authors would 
then be but imperfect stages in the 
development, saying things the even- 
tual import of which they could not 
foresee. But this is not the case. The 
result to which Fromm comes is not 
something unknown to the biblical 
authors; it is clear that some of them 
had already considered some such 
position (though obviously in a 
much less sophisticated form), and 
had rejected it. This is what is meant 

by Isa. 14:1-21, Ezek. 28:1-19, 31:1- 
18, and Dan. 4. Fromm is certainly 
correct in finding in the OT a real 
exaltation of humanity; man is, for 
the OT writers "almost God," but for 
them the "almost" is an indispensable 
part of the affirmation. They do not 
take the final step with Fromm, not 
because evolution has not progressed 
far enough, but because they have 
considered that possibility and have 
concluded that to take it would be to de- 
stroy their humanity. They know men 
who believe in no other god but them- 
selves, and they believe those men have 
lost the glory of humanity. That is to 
say, the reviewer believes there is an 
irreconcilable difference between the 
theistic humanism of the OT, and 
modern (also ancient!) nontheistic 
humanism. Fromm has interpreted 
the references in the OT and rab- 
binic writings to God's limitation of 
himself as signs that he can be done 
without, and see progress as a gradual 
retirement of God from human life 
until only man is left. But the re- 
viewer believes that the references 
which Fromm takes as hopeful signs 
that man can be free of God surely 
meant something quite different to 
their authors and the communities 
which preserved them; viz., they 
were intended to point to the su- 
preme graciousness of God. A gra- 
cious God, from whom there would 
be no point in being free, has no 
place, in this book. Surely Fromm's 



stress on man's fear of freedom is 
good; and his exposition of our pref- 
erence for slavery of one kind or 
another, which is idolatry, is in ac- 
cord with the biblical understanding 
of man, and is something which 
modern man needs to hear. But he 
differs from the Bible in his view of 
where freedom is to be found. For 
him it is in man, himself, alone; for 
the Bible it is in loving obedience to 
God, and it goes on to say that man 
himself alone is less than human. 

If there is no God, then the posi- 
tive statements in the Bible about 
freedom as obedience to God have 
no meaning; and the best one can do 
is what Fromm does: look for some 
other kind of positive statement. But 
one must ask whether the Bible's 
rejection of nontheistic humanism 
does not need to be taken very seri- 
ously today, and not simply to be dis- 
missed along with its theistic pre- 
suppositions. That is to say, while the 
reviewer can understand Fromm's 
lack of faith in God, though he does 
not share it, he can neither share nor 

understand his faith in man. What 
evidence is there to lead us to believe 
that through rebelling against suffer- 
ing man really does take a step 
toward freedom, so that in time real 
progress is made.^ Does he not only 
move from one form of slavery to 
another? The kind of technological 
messianic age which some are en- 
thusiastic about today obviously does 
not appeal to Fromm; but other than 
this kind of progress, given man's 
obvious penchant for dehumaniza- 
tion, what real basis for man-centered 
hope is there? Does experience con- 
j&rm anything other than the biblical 
statement that if man's own potential 
is all we have, then we are without 

The reviewer must conclude, then, 
that this very interesting book is not 
really an interpretation of the OT 
and its tradition, but a philosophical 
statement v/ith illustrations from 
religious traditions. For if the theism 
of the OT and Judaism is done away 
with, its humanism is gone as well. 

— Donald E. Gowan. 

Foakes Jackson, F. J., and Lake, K., eds. The Beginnings of Christianity. Part 
I. The Acts of the Apostles. Vol. IV. English Translation and Commentary, 
by Kirsopp Lake and Henry J. Cadbury. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 
1965. Pp. xi + 421 + map. $7.95. ' • 

One of the Limited Editions Li- 
brary reprints, which Perspective has 

previously mentioned with apprecia- 
tion. This present volume is recom- 



mended in the Bibliographical Issue. 
Maanillan published the volume only 

thirty-four years ago, but it has been 
long out of print and hard to come 

This volume contains a translation 
of J. H. Ropes' Greek text, estab- 
lished in Vol. Ill, and copious notes 
and cross references to the literature 
up to the early thirties. Since this is 


a reprint, no attempt has been made 
to update bibliographic references; 
and this would be the principal limi- 
tation on the use of the book today. 
There are detailed indices, and a map 
of the Eastern Mediterranean. 

The book is beautifully produced 
and a welcome addition to our list of 
available commentaries. 

Hennecke, Edgar. New Testament Apocrypha. Vol. 2: Writings Related to 
the Apostles; Apocalypses and Related Subjects. Edited by Wilhelm Schnee- 
melcher. English Translation by R. McL. Wilson. Philadelphia: Westminster 
Press, 1965. Pp. 852. $10.00. 

See Perspective for June, 1964 
{Vl.yii) for a review of Vol. 1 and 
general remarks about this work. The 
intervening time has only underlined 
how important the appearance of 
these volumes is. 

An impressive array of scholars has 
contributed to this book, among 
them the Germans W. Bauer and G. 
Bornkamm, and assisting the English 
editor, E. Best and G. Ogg. A notable 
contribution is the introductory mate- 
rial on apocalyptic by P. Vielhauer. 
It is a valuable feature of this work 
that more than the translations of 
documents is provided. The maze of 
material on the apostles dating from 

the first three centuries of the church 
can be mastered by only a few 
scholars; so the summaries and assess- 
ments given here are of prime im- 
portance for the non-specialist. 

Some of the material covered in 
this volume has been figuring prom- 
inently in recent biblical theology. 
The "Pseudo-Clementines," for ex- 
ample, are of importance in the dis- 
cussion of Johannine thought; and 
the early apocalypses help to under- 
stand the genre and differentia of 
canonical apocalyptic. 

Westminster Press is to be con- 
gratulated again for venturing to pro- 
vide us with these excellent volumes. 




Smith, Barbara. Young People's Bible Dictionary. Philadelphia: Westminster, 
1965. Pp. 161 + xvi plates. $4.50. 

This Bible-study aid is designed 
for "young people," which may be 
paraphrased "Those who are not 
ready to use the 'standard,' more de- 
tailed dictionaries." Miss Smith's 
name is known to those who are 
familiar with Westminster curricular 
materials, and she has produced a 
worthy work in this book. 

Included are the most important 
names of Bible personages and a 
good selection of Bible words that 
are not readily understood without 
assistance. The entries are replete 
with scripture references, and there is 

a helpful supplement with Wright- 
Filson maps. A "how-to" introduc- 
tion should make the book even 
easier to use. 

It is not possible to be completely 
objective and non-controversial in 
such a project. Perhaps the "Time 
Line" page with its overview of his- 
tory — and dates — would bring the 
most demurrers. For the most part, 
however, the text is quite up-to-date 
and perceptive. The RSV is pre- 
sumed throughout, and there are up- 
to-date illustrations and photographs. 

Stuber, Stanley L., ed. The Illustrated Bible and Church Handbook. New 
York: Association Press, 1966. Pp. 532. $5.95. 

This reference book should prove 
useful in home and church libraries. 
It contains a "Who's Who in the 
Bible" and a sort of dictionary of 
Bible "Facts." A section on the 
Church also has a "Who's Who" 
which extends to modern times, more 
facts including architectural and li- 
turgical details, a concise treatment 
of symbols, and a separate chapter 
about Christmas. The third section 
deals with hymns — another "Who's 
Who" and stories of 180 "favorites." 

The volume is nicely produced and 
should be serviceable at a rather ele- 
mentary level of inquiry. Some of the 
information is certainly inadequate if 
not misleading ( the Dea.d Sea Scrolls 
are described as "a collection of a 
dozen scrolls of very old manuscripts 
discovered in the spring of 1947 
..."); but any book so wide-ranging 
runs this risk. The line drawings 
which occupy considerable space are 
also of questionable value except, of 
course, in the treatment of symbols. 
— /. A. Walt her. 


Packer, J. I. God Speaks to Man: Revelation atid the Bible. Philadelphia: The 
Westminster Press, 1965. Pp. 95. $1.25. 

This volume is part of the series 
"Christian Foundations" appearing 
under the auspices of the Evangelical 
Fellowship in the Anglican Com- 
munion under the editorship of 
Philip E. Hughes. 

Packer's work is a poorly written 
1965 rehash of B. B. Warfield. His 
shotgun blasts against K. Barth, Bult- 
mann, the liberal, the broad church- 
man, and the "honest to God-er" find 
their mark only in his own straw 
man. One sentence best illustrates the 
whole book: "The only proviso is 
that our study of the Bible as Christ 
himself, must be based in fully bibli- 

cal presuppositions about which we 
are studying." What are these? Are 
Packer's presuppositions biblical or 
the product of orthodoxy.^ The re- 
viewer wishes Packer would have 
written: "Throw away presupposi- 
tions, let the Bible speak." 

While Packer states that he does 
not belittle technical biblical scholar- 
ship, much of the book does. In con- 
trast the reviewer finds the words of 
Bengel a satisfactory reply to Packer 
and the motivation for scholarship 
and Bible study — Te totum applica 
ad textum: rem totam applica ad te. 
— Howard Eshbaugh. 

Thielicke, Helmut. Between Heaven and Earth. New York : Harper and Row, 
1965. Pp. 189. $3.75. 

This book is a distillate of con- 
versations carried on between Dr. 
Thielicke and seminarians, pastors, 
theologians, newsmen, and laymen 
during his visit to the United States 
in 1963. There are nine chapters. 
The first three deal with the Bible 
and its interpretation, including sec- 
tions in which Thielicke confronts 
verbal inspiration and criticizes k as 
a position detrimental to faith (and 
nowhere has there been written a bet- 
ter explanation of the problem), and 
a long section on the historical- 

critical study of the Scriptures. Chap- 
ter 4 is a long chapter given over to 
the theological defense of the Virgin 
Birth. In Chapter 5, Dr. Thielicke 
cites his reasons against glossolalia 
(chief of which is the fact that the 
"inspired" speaker considers himself 
to be gifted, rather than giving glory 
to the Giver of all good gifts ) . There 
is a healthy treatment of the prob- 
lems and historical background of 
Nazi Germany, brought forth in 
heart-rending fashion by one who 
lived through those trying times, at- 



tempting to minster to those caught 
in the trap. There are also some 
healthy insights into our own prob- 
lem of racial integration (the chief 
problem is to bring this question out 
of the realm of "ideologizing," the 
second to recognize that it is dan- 
gerous for the church to take political 
sides in an issue). For those who 
have often heard Luther's much- 
maligned doctrine of the two King- 
doms chided, there is a very good 
understanding of this teaching to be 
found in the same chapter. The final 

chapter is a warming insight into 
what Thielicke considers the major 
problem of American Christians: 
they have not learned to accept suf- 
fering, and see it in its theological 
setting. He has much good to say in 
this chapter, as throughout the rest 
of the book, Thielicke is one of the 
top German Lutheran theologians of 
this century. His books deserve to be 
read, and especially this one, which 
seems to be written just for the 

Bruce, Michael. No Empty Creed. New York: Seabury, 1966. Pp. 143. $1.45 

Fr. Bruce says he wrote this book 
for intelligent seekers outside the 
faith. Unfortunately it will have its 
basic appeal among "high-Church" 
Episcopalians of the Anglo-Catholic 
branch of the faith. The book has 
fifteen chapters, each treating a 
phrase of the Apostles' Creed in the 
form of a question (e.g., "Are our 
Sins Forgiven?"). It starts out well 
discussing God as Father and as Al- 
mighty. Chapter three is a noble de- 
fense of strict Chalcedonian Chris- 
tology, emphasizing our experience 
of this doctrine through communion 
with the living Christ. Unfortunately, 
the Virgin Birth is not defended as 
an article of faith. The whole chap- 
ter on it is a defense of the biological 
possibility of parthenogenesis; one 

wonders if Fr. Bruce himself doesn't 
miss the theological point of the 
Virgin Birth, You may also not agree 
when he says "The fundamental im- 
portance of Christ's triumphal Ascen- 
sion is that it guarantees the sym- 
pathy of God" (p. 72). There will 
also be disagreements on his chapter 
regarding "Communion tvith the 
Saints," Here he rightly stresses the 
neglected truth of communion be- 
tween the "quick and the dead" in 
the Eucharist. His arguments for a 
primitive doctrine of purgation are, 
however, unconvincing; they are 
based solely on reason and human 
need. Also, though the saints do 
"intercede before the throne of God" 
on behalf of the Church Militant, one 
still questions the possibility of ask- 



ing them personally for their pray- 
ers on one's own particular behalf. 
Much of the book is sound, basic 
theology. It is marred by the almost- 
cynical desire of the author to 
"prove" the articles of faith. You will 
like the crisp, no-nonsense style of 

writing; it is refreshingly simple 
(perhaps too simple?) in a day of so 
many obscure theological writers. 
The trouble is, one wonders if Fr. 
Bruce didn't fill up parts of the 
empty creed with the wrong baggage. 
— Jay C. Rochelle. 

Brill, E. H. The Creative Edge of American Protestantism. New York: Sea- 
bury Press, 1966. Pp. 248. $5.95. ' 

The author sees the creative edge 
of Protestantism as: carefully defining 
its position in a pluralistic society; 
helping the United States to find its 
"rightful place" in world leadership; 
re-defining its position with regard 
to the federal government and the 
public schools; accepting its increas- 
ing social responsibility; and con- 
comitant to this last item its renewed 
vigor in the city with its complicated 
metropolitan problems. 

One must admit that the author 
has chosen the crucial issues, but one 
can understand doubts about a book 
of only 248 pages attempting to do 
so much. This is both a strength and 
a weakness depending, of course, on 
what you're looking for. 

Thinking churchmen must face 
the issues dealt with in this book. 
Sometimes these questions arise out 
of the natural situation. If so, here 
is a book that can help the layman 
deal with the problem from a larger 
perspective. Each problem is viewed 

historically. While these histories are 
brief, they do present a helpful out- 
line which, together with the bibliog- 
raphy, can be a good start toward 
a solution. 

One of the most helpful items in 
the book is a discussion of the terms 
"liberal" and "conservative." Brill 
tries to show both sides of every issue 
though his sympathies are clearly 
v/ith the liberals. He does show why 
the liberal or the conservative takes 
the predictable position he does. For 
those who are confused with labels, 
this is a big help. 

The chapter on the church -related 
college and the problems faced by it 
is disturbing. The author freely ad- 
mits that there are some "church 
schools" among the nation's best col- 
leges as well as among the worst, but 
then he deals in generalizations that 
include only the worst of them. Far 
too many schools are doing a good 
job for Dr. Brill to reach the pessi- 
mistic conclusion that he comes to. 


All things considered, this is a lumps recently. This book throws 

good survey of the crisis faced by the some pretty good punches at the 

Protestant Church. The layman whose church; but by and large it shows 

social conscience is suddenly awak- where the church has been, where it 

ened can get needed historical and is, and where it is probably headed, 

theological background for his think- And, you know, I'm not at all dis- 

ing. Used in adult groups at the local couraged. This book shows reason for 

level and on campuses this book can hope, 

bring about a personal aggiorna- The author is presently the Epis- 

mento so far as the contemporary copal Chaplain at the American Uni- 

church is concerned. versity, Washington, D. C. 

The church has been taking its — Charles C. W. Idler. 

Books Received 

Calvin, John. The Acts of the Apostles (Vol. 1 [Chapters 1-13], translated by W. J. 
G. McDonald [1965; pp. vi + 410]; Vol. II [Chapters 14-28], translated by 
J. W. Frazer [1966; pp. v -j- 329]), and Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and 
Colossians (translated by T. H. L. Parker [1965; pp. vi -f 369]). Vols. 6, 7, 
and 11 of Calvin's New Testament Commentaries. A New Translation edited by 
D. W. and T. F. Torrance. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. $6.00 each. Three more 
volumes in this beautifully produced edition. For mention of other volumes in 
the series, see especially Wm. Anderson's review in Perspective, II. 2 (June, 
1961), p. 35; also II.4 (December, 1961), p. 31; III.2 (June, 1962), p. 40; 
and V.3 (September,- 1964), p. 32. 

Cole, Alan. The Epistle of Paul to the Galatians: Tyndale Bible Commentaries. Grand 
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965. Pp. 188. $3.25. An "everyman" (nobody?) commen- 
tary. Very few footnotes. (Howard Eshbaugh.) 

CoUyer, Bud. With the Whole Heart. Westwood, N.J.: Revell, 1966. Pp. 96. $2.75. 
Poem-sermons by a popular entertainer, an aaive member of the First Presby- 
terian Church, Greenwich, Connecticut. 

Crane, Jim. On Edge. Richmond: John Knox, 1965. $1.25 (paper). A collection of 
"cartoon-commentaries which probe universal human dilemmas," by the Asso- 
ciate Professor of Art at Florida Presbyterian College. 

DeHaan, M. R., M.D. Genesis and Evolution. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962. Pp. 
152. $2.50. 

Dooley, Thomas A., M.D. Doctor Tom Dooley, My Story. New York: New American 
Library, 1964. Pp. 128. 50<^ (paper). A Signet Book abridgement of Dooley 's 
three books; illustrated. 

Drake, Robert. Elannery O'Conner. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966. Pp. 48. 85^ 
(paper). A critical essay in the series Contemporary Writers in Christian Per- 

Fesquet, H., collector. Wit and Wisdom of Good Pope John. Illustrated. New York: 
New American Library, 1965. Signet Book. Pp. 128. 50<^. A charming little 
book, about "one of the greatest, and most beloved, men of our time portrayed 
through his own words"; a good source of anecdotes and quotes. 


Flynn, L. B. The Power of Christlike Living. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962. Pp. 

127. $2.50. ^^ ^ 
Foster, John. Five Minutes a Saint. Richmond: John Knox, 1964. Pp. 112. $1.25 

(paper). Thumbnail sketches of forty-two men and women from early Christi- 
anity, with liberal quotations from most of them; a concise source of illustration 
and inspiration. 

Grimley, J. B., and Robinson, G. E. Church Growth in Central and Southern Nigeria. 
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966. Pp. 386. $3.25 (paper). 

Hulme, Wm. E. Your Pastor's Problems: A Guide for Ministers and Laymen. New 
York: Doubleday, 1966. Pp. 165. 

Jauncey, J. H. / Believe in the American Way. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962. Pp. 

128. $1.95. 

Jones, W. Paul. The Recovery of Life's Meaning: Understanding Creation and the 
Incarnation. New York: Association Press, 1963. Pp. 254. $4.50. 

Kierkegaard, S. The Gospel of Our Sufferings. Translated from the Danish by A. S. 
Aldworth and W. S. Ferrie. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964. Pp. 150. $1.45 
(paper). American edition of 1955 British edition of "Christian Discourses in a 
Different Vein, published in 1847 at Copenhagen." 

Knox, John. Life in Christ: Reflections on Romans 3-8. New York: Seabury Press, 
1966. Pp. 128. $1.25. Readable exegesis for the layman, (Howard Eshbaugh.) 

Law, Wm. A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life. Introduction by Geoffrey W. 
Bromiley. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966. Pp. xx + 313. $1-95 (paper). A 
fine reprint of a "spiritual classic" from Macmillan's 1898 edition. 

Limited Editions Library is a series of valuable reprints from Baker Book House. 
Among these are : 

Greenleaf, Simon. The Testimony of the Evangelists Examined by the Rules of 
Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice. (Reprinted from the 1874 
edition.) Pp. xxiii + 613. $7.95. 
Mayor, Joseph B. The Epistle of St. Jude and the Second Epistle of St. Peter. 
Greek Text with Introduction, Notes, and Comments. (Reprinted from the 
original edition, 1907.) Pp. ccii + GGA. $9-95. 
Olmstead, A. T. History of Palestine and Syria to the Macedonian Conquest. 
(Reprinted from Scribner's 1931 edition.) Pp. xxxiii -f (^(^^- $9.95. 

For notice of other volumes in this series, cf. Perspective, VI. 2 (June, 1965), p. 38, 
and VII.2 (June, 1966), p. 45, and p. 33f above. 

Mueller, Wm. R. The Prophetic Voice in Modern Fiction. Garden City, N.J.: Double- 
day, 1966. Pp. ix 4- 186. 95<^ (paper). Major writings of James Joyce, Albert 
Camus, Franz Kafka, Ignazio Silone, William Faulkner, and Graham Greene 
interpreted as introductions to basic religious doctrines. Anchor Book reprint of 
Association Press' valuable 1959 edition. 

Peale, Norman Vincent. The Healing of Sorrow. Pawling, N.Y. : Inspirational Book 
Service (per Doubleday), 1966. Pp. 96. $2.95. 

Pickell, Charles N. Works Count Too! Faith in Action in the Life of the Christian. 
Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1966. Pp. 120. By a graduate of this Seminary; now 
pastor of Wallace Memorial U. P. Church, West Hyattsvilie, Maryland. 

Shideler, M. M. Cha,rles Williams. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966. Pp. 48. 85^ 
(paper). A critical essay in the series Contemporary Writers in Christian Per- 

Verney, S. Fire in Coventry. Westwood, N.J.: Revell, 1964. Pp. 95. $1.95. 

Wiebe, R. Peace Shall Destroy Many. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962. Pp. 239. $3.95. 
A Novel. 

Sonnet For Spring 

{after Walden) 

The purple hyacinths arise in prayer 
At garden's edge, a paschal nominee — 
Now born to bear the chilling world's despair; 
That here be martyred Love's Gethsemane. 
The poetry of Spring forever rhymes, 
For heaven's underfoot and overhead; 
A patient sod awakes and saffron climbs 
The willow's plume; capricious tendrils wed 
To warming winds, their April walls aspire. 
As if the earth had burst with inward heat, 
Her grass aflame like spreading emerald fire, 
A sun once prodigal, prepares to greet. 
In Beauty God reveals His cosmic story: 
The grave of Winter leads to paths of glory. 

— Rowe Hinsey. 



June, 1967 
Volume VIII Number 2 


Volume VIII June, 1967 Number 2 

Published four times yearly in March, June, September and December, by 
the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 North Highland Arenue, Pitts- 
burgh, Pa. 15206, one of the seven seminaries of the United Presbyterian 
Church in the U. S. A. Second-class postage paid at Pittsburgh, Pa. Changes 
of address should be sent to the Seminary, care of the Direaor of the Mail- 
ing Department. 

Editor: James Arthur Walther, Th.D. 

Publications Committees j 

Faculty Student 

Peter Fribley Robert V. Mathias, Chmn. 

Lynn B. Hinds, Chmn. 
J. A. Walther 

J. Rowe Hinsey, ex. off. 

William R. Atkins, ex. off. 

William R. Phillippe, ex. off. 

Circulation: William W. Hill 

Secretarial Assistant: Mrs. Elizabeth Eakin 


Ad Hoc 2 

From the President's Desk 3 

The Shape of Zwingli's Theology 5 

by Gottfried W. Locher 

Demythologizing 27 

by Schubert M. Ogden 
Book Reviews and Notes 

The Jerusalem Bible 36 

Jared J. Jackson and J. A. Walther 

J. Anderson, The History and Religion of Israel 40 

* Jared J. Jackson 

Brown, The Gospel According to John {i-xn). The Anchor Bible . . 40 

Goetschius, The Language of the New Testament 43 

James Arthur Walther 

Wolf, Journey Through the Holy Land 45 

Anna Marie Walther 

Rogers, Scripture in the Westminster Confession AG 

John H. Gerstner 

Reist, Toward a Theology of Involvement 51 

George H. Kehm 

Richardson, Religion in Contemporary Debate 53 

m Hughes, Creative Minds in Contemporary Theology 54 

" Freemantle, The Protestant Mystics 55 

Jay C. Rochelle 

Peerman, Frontline Theology 55 

Valentine, The Cross in the Market Place 56 

Charles C. W. Idler 

The Action of the Church 56 

Walter R. Clyde 

Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander 57 

Jay C. Rochelle 

007—Jekyll or Hyde 59 

William R. Phillippe 

Wise, The Meaning of Pastoral Care 63 

Jay C. Rochelle 

Wright, Let the Children Paint 64 

B. M. Burrows 

Psalm Inside Back Cover 

by Howard Vogt 

Ad Hoc 

This issue contains two lectures given during this past year by guests 
on our campus. During the Fall, Professor Gottfried W. Locher, of the Uni- 
versity of Bern, Switzerland, visited Professor Dietrich Ritschl here. Since our 
schedule did not afford a time when Dr. Locher could address the whole 
seminary community, he lectured to Dr. Ritschl's seminar. We are indebted 
to Dr. Ritschl for arranging for us to have the manuscript of that lecture. It 
seems to us to be a very perceptive, interesting, and instructive study from 
Reformation Theology; and we are pleased to be able to share it with our 

It is quite another phase of theological concern which was presented to 
us by Professor Schubert M. Ogden, of Perkins School of Theology, Southern 
Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. In a convocation last February 23rd he 
essayed an up-to-date summary of the role of "demythologizing" in theo- 
logical studies. It is six years since he published Christ Without Myth, and 
it is valuable to have an estimate of how this contemporary problem looks 
to the expert Dr. Ogden today. We have printed the leaure in the form in 
which it was brought to us. Many local alumni and friends share these con- 
vocation events with us, and we take this means of sharing this one with you. 

Next issue we are delighted and proud to giYQ you a paper that many 
of us have long been hoping for. Hundreds of people have been guided and 
helped by Professor William F. Orr's famous lecture on marriage — which 
long ago became known as "Topic A" in seminary circles. This Spring Dr. 
Orr read a paper to the Biblical Division on "Paul's Treatment of Marriage in 
First Corinthians Seven" — the biblical basis for the popular lecmre. The 
September Perspective will feature this article. 

Past issues — many of them — are still available. In particular we men- 
tion three: (1) George Swetnam's "Star in the West," a history of the Semi- 
nary and its antecedents; ( 2 ) the Bibliographical Issue; and ( 3 ) the special 
issue on the "Confession of 1967." There is no charge for these — but it would 
help the Seminary budget if you could send about 35 cents a copy to cover 
our expenses. 

— /. A. W. 

From the President's Desk 

Perhaps a way out of at least some of the theological confusion of 
the moment might be to realign ourselves with the continuities of history. 
If we knew better the history of the past, it could well be that much that is^ 
called "new" today is but old errors dressed out in new garb. Furthermore, 
attention to the total pathv/ay by which we have come would be a savory 
corrective to the tendency to think we had made new discoveries when we 
are only succumbing to the spirit of the time and reflecting the current tem- 
per. To listen to our ancestors might save us from excitedly telling people 
what they already know, and calling it the Christian faith. 

Professor T. F. Torrance has written: "True thinking takes place within 
a frame of continuous historical development in which progress in under- 
standing is being made ... no constructive thinking that is worthwhile can 
be undertaken that sets at nought the intellectual labours of the centuries 
that are enshrined in tradition, or be undertaken on the arrogant assumption 
that everything must be thought through de novo as if nothing true had 
already been done or said. He who undertakes that kind of work will in- 
i evitably be determined unconsciously by the assumptions of popular piety 
which have already been built into his mind." {Theology in Reconstruction 
[London: SCM Press Ltd., 1965} p. 24.) 

Humility before the past, respect for "the larger Christian tradition," is 
a mood which should characterize the theological enterprise. Away back in 
1845, Philip Schaff saw the folly of a theological temper which arrogantly 

! dismissed the past as benighted. In The Principle of Protestantism he showed 
amusement at Protestant pride which dubbed the middle ages the "Dark 
Ages," and laughed at enlightened nineteenth century writers who thought 
of such as Anselmi, Aquinas, Da Vinci, and St. Francis as "poor children of 
darkness." He pictured these "mighty dead" as pointing "our dwarfish race to 
their own imperishable giant works" and exclaiming, "Be humble, and learn 
that nothing beseems you so well." (Quoted by James H. Smylie, "Philip 
SchaflF: Ecumenist," in Encounter, Volume 28, No. 1, p. 8.) Such advice is 

f I more needed now than then. 

This is not to propose that our fathers knew all that there is to be 
known: that there is no more "light to break upon the sacred page" than 


that which they saw; that we should be "cabin'd and cribbed" by their modes 
of thinking or their results; or that any one of them, or group of them, should 
be the sole orientation point around which all theological thinking revolves. 
Historicism of this type has often been a handicap to theology, substituting 
a survey of other men's thoughts for the rigorous process of doing our own 

I am suggesting, however, that we stand in a stream of continuity w^th 
past generations, and that the meaning of the span of this stream where our 
own generation stands will be obscure without tracing the stream to its 
source, and that the thological objects which come floating down the stream 
will be confusing and valueless unless we explore the banks of the entire 
stream and look at these objects in their original setting. 

Our "now" needs a "then." Our "henceforth" must be guided by a 
"hitherto." I am not arguing for a binding "historicism" but for a liberating 
"historical perspective" which will break the pattern of our contemporaneity 
and free us from the bondage of the moment. 

— D. G. M. 

The Shape of ZwingWs Theology 

A Comparison with Luther and Calvin 

by Gottfried W. Locher* 

I. Message and Theology in the 

In the famous introduction to the 
second part of the Schmalkalden Ar- 
ticles of 1537 Martin Luther v/rites: 
"Here is the first and principal arti- 
cle: That Jesus Christ, our God and 
Lord, died for our sins and rose for 
our justification (Rom. 4), and 
(that) He alone is the Lamb of God, 
who bears the sin of the world. . . . 
As this has to be believed, it cannot 
be gained or comprehended through 
works, through the Law, or earned 
in any way, so it is quite certain that 
only such faith can justify us. . . . 
One cannot abandon anything con- 
cerning this article nor detract from 
it, even if Heaven and earth should 
fall and all things should pass away."^ 

In the sixty-seven articles, which 
led to the acceptance of the Reforma- 
tion in Ziirich in January 1523, 
Huldrych Zwingli declares: 

"The secofid article: The main 
point of the Gospel is that our 
Lord Jesus Christ is the true Son 
of God, who has revealed to us the 
will of the Heavenly Father, and 
through His sinlessness has saved 
us from death and given us atone- 
ment with God. 

"The third article: Thence is Christ 
the only way to salvation for all 
who have lived, who nov/ live and 
who shall live. . . . 
"The sixth article: For Christ Jesus 
is the guide and leader promised 
and given by God to the whole of 

* A lecture given in the seminar of Professor Dietrich Ritschl at Pittsburgh Theolo- 
gical Seminary on October 11, 1966. The translation was kindly done by Rev. J. 
A. Morrison (Lauenen Kt. Bern) and revised by Mr. J. Adams (Bern). An ex- 
panded form of this paper with the addition of rich documentation v/iU appear in 
ZwingUana 1967/1, Berichthaus Zurich. 

^Schmalkaldische Artikel 1537. Die Bekenntnisschriften der evangelisch-Iutherischen 
Kirche, herausgegeben vom Deutschen Evangelischen Kirchenausschuss, Gottingen, 
1930, Band I, Seite 415, 4ff. 

"^Huldreich Zwinglis SdmtUche Werke, herausgegeben von Emil Egli u.a. 1950ff. 
{Corpus Reformatomm Volumen LXXXVII ss.) ("Z") Band I S. 458. 



In the third book of his Institutes, 
John Calvin describes faith with the 
following definition: "It is the un- 
shakable knowledge of God's kind- 
ness towards us, which is founded in 
the truth of the free promise of grace 
in Christ and revealed to our minds 
and sealed in our hearts through the 
Holy Spirit."^ 

It is not at all easy in a few words 
to get at the essence of the message 
which the Reformation contains. 
Therefore we have decided to con- 
centrate upon the understanding of 
justification by faith or, to put it more 
exactly, upon the relation of faith to 
Jesus Christ as the one and only Re- 
deemer and Saviour. We could go 
further and begin to compare the 
three principal Reformers by analyz- 
ing the characteristic we have heard. 
To compare the Reformers and to 
reach a deeper understanding of 
them, it is necessary to distinguish 
one from the other. But immediately 
there arises the danger of over- 
emphasizing their differences, of lay- 
ing too much stress upon contrasting 
attitudes instead of properly assessing 
their similarities. In reality there is a 
great common background; the dif- 
ferences between the various Reform- 
ers — and with such we shall deal 
here — are only to be understoood 
theologically in relation to this com- 
mon background. The whole Refor- 

mation movement is the escape from 
fear and uncertainty to Jesus Christ, 
who was crucified and raised for us, 
and is the desire for the comfort and 
strength which we can find in Him 
alone. The whole Reformation redis- 
covers the Saviour of the sinner over 
against the picture of Christ in the 
Middle Ages as the pitiless Judge of 
the world. All the Reformers share 
the same view of sola gratia, which 
stands in contrast to the infinite 
cultic and moral demands of Rome 
and the medieval scholastics, as well 
as being in contrast to the different 
stages of a mystical approach to sal- 
vation, which cannot be enforced in 
any way. They also have in common 
an exact definition of grace and of 
justification sola fide: that is to say, 
to the exclusion of a natural or super- 
natural attribute or a natural or 
supernatural cooperation by man, 
even if one should call such an at- 
tribute or power of cooperation 
"grace." Only the pure gift of grace 
can grant us total certainty. A fur- 
ther common bond of the Reformers 
lies therefore in the personal under- 
standing of grace as against a sacra- 
mental gratia infusa which is injeaed 
into man. There is also their com- 
mon acknowledgment of the Church 
as the communion of believers as 
over against the saving organization 
considered to be infallible with its 

Hnstitutio 111,2,7. = Cdvini Opera Selecta COS"), ed. P. Barth, W. Niesel e.a., Vol. 
IV, p. 16,31 ss. 


various hierarchical offices and its 
teaching and legalistic traditions. In 
common work the Reformers held 
together in their awakening of the 
viva vox by proclaiming the Gospel 
and its total dependence on Holy 
Scripture; but even the sola scrip- 
tura is only a form to witness to the 
presence of Him whom the scrip- 
tures proclaim: the solus Christus. 
Come to Christ, put your trust in 
Him in life as well as in death! 
There is no comfort to be found in 
man — this is the Reformation mes- 

Now we have to take into con- 
sideration that the interpretation of 
this message is influenced from two 
different direaions. Firstly, it is in- 
fluenced by the exposition of Holy 
Scripture. Here the Reformers are 
still predominantly in accord. The 
second influence was the needs and 
experiences of the Reformers and 
their parishes. When we question the 
motives of the Reformation move- 
ment we must not be surprised at 
the different answers we reach nor 
at the consequences to be drawn: 
rather we should be amazed at the 
complete fullness of what they have 
in common. Still it would pay us here 
to be very careful. The presentation 
of Reformation theology, especially 
in the German language, has all too 
often been built only upon the teach- 
ing and guidance of Luther; Zwingli 

and Calvin have only been consid- 
ered for their agreement or disagree- 
ment with the German Reformer. 
On the one hand, this leads to their 
differences being exaggerated; where- 
as on the other, different tendencies 
in similar-sounding expositions are 
too easily overlooked. To reach a 
better understanding of the Reform- 
ers it is necessary to question their 
motives both historically and objec- 
tively. Here we have arrived at the 
heart of their theologies. We shall 
try succinctly to paraphrase their 
various positions. 

1) Continuing Martin Luther's 
words in regard to justification by 
faith we read: "This article contains 
everything which we teach and live 
in opposition to the Pope, the Devil 
and the world. Therefor we must be 
fully certain of this and not givQ 
way to doubt. Otherwise everything 
is lost, and the Pope and the Devil 
gain the victory and all right over 
us."* Luther's teaching fights not only 
against the pope (that is to say, the 
representative of a church principle 
which denies the solus Christus and 
therefore has characteristics of the 
antichrist) but also against doubt 
and despair, against the ways of the 
world with its reason and sin, against 
eternal damnation and the devil. Day 
and night we are surrounded by these 
powers and are surrendered up to 

^Schmalk. Art. (cf. note 1) S. 4l6,3ff. 



their temptations. Yet their most 
dangerous powers lie within our- 
selves. In my conscience the devil 
reminds me of God's laws and tells 
his own good works, who lives in 
me: "You are lost!" Luther's mes- 
sage goes out to the man who doubts 
fear of hell. Or to put this in a more 
modern terminology, Luther speaks 
to the man who really endeavours to 
lead a purposeful and full life, but 
for all that fails to realize the pres- 
ence of God in his life and the eter- 
nal bond which binds him to God. 
Such an experience has also its 
psychological side. We Protestants 
must never forget the picture of 
Brother Martin struggling with God 
in his monastery cell. Here Luther 
was afraid; that is why he was able 
later to appear fearless before the 
State and the whole Church. He was 
fearful of not being elected by God; 
he was fearful about the acceptance 
of his works, and the purity of his 
convictions. He was afraid of being 
damned for his sins. There is no real 
evangelical faith which does not 
know the attack of God's anger and 
which is not wounded by this vexa- 
tion. For only the conscience which 
is attacked — and this was Luther's 
way — can hold on to the Gospel 
against the Law, grasp the promise 
of grace in the cross of Christ, which 
is in itself both of these: condemna- 
tion by God's anger and acceptance 
in His love. As we have already said, 
there is no faith without this emer- 

gence from the darkness of guilt into 
the light which is lit for us in the 
preaching of God's Word, in the 
message of the sacrament. In this 
sense the question "How can I find 
a merciful God.^" truly describes the 
most personal and deepest of human 
questions as well as the central mo- 
tive of Lutheran piety. Comprehen- 
sion of the promise of grace takes 
place in personal faith. Indeed this 
faith, created by the Word of God, 
is itself the aim of God's revelation, 
leading us from the Law to the Gos- 
pel. Its typical antithesis is: either 
"despair" or "work." 

2 ) Huldrych Zwingli also became 
a Reformer because of fear, fear in 
the face of God's anger. But we have 
to realize right away that the reason 
for his fear lay in another direction. 
It is often said that Zwingli never 
knew the struggles of the soul which 
Luther experienced throughout his 
whole life; this does not tally. But 
whereas Luther's religion was to the 
very end the desire of the true monk 
fighting for the salvation of his soul, 
the Reformer of Ziirich was a priest 
of the people, responsible for the 
souls of his parish; besides this he 
was also a loyal Swiss, a keen poli- 
tician and a fiery democrat. For 
Zwingli the Word of God revealed 
itself especially in his time; and the 
task of preaching God's Word is a 
prophetic one, a preaching appropri- 
ate to the times, declaring the hour 


of decision. The public and private 
life of the present is, however, gov- 
erned by two factors. These are the 
corruption of the times themselves 
and the Reformation movement. 
This means a general and terrible 
falling away of the followers of 
Christianity and their Church from 
the commandment of God, and their 
plunging into the self-destruction of 
bloody wars, which are in fact a be- 
trayal of Christ. This bore especially 
heavily upon Zwingli's sense of loyal- 
ty towards his country, a country 
which had become proud of her posi- 
tion in the wars of freedom and 
haughty about her avaricious mer- 
cenary campaigns, with their ensuing 
inextinguishable guilt. The threaten- 
ing punishment was unthinkable. In 
his publication in 1524 of The Shep- 
herd, the Reformer directs his re- 
marks to the clergy: the shepherd 
knows that he "should accuse and 
hinder the wanton waging of war 
by the princes and rulers." "Where 
do the papists, the high bishops, and 
the whole crowd of so-called priests 
stand on this matter? What position 
have they adopted? In the last fifteen 
years they have played oflf the great- 
est and strongest nations against each 
other and caused utter chaos, where- 
by innumerable people have suffered 
untold physical and spiritual hard- 
ships. The most recent times are the 
worst. Whenever these men have 

started to talk of peace they have 
done so in order to benefit from it; 
generally, however, the ensuing war 
was more horrible than its predeces- 
sor, with the result that everyone is 
gripped by a feeling of utmost fear 
when he hears any talk of peace. 
This clergy seeks to bring destruc- 
tion into the world. Therefore, he 
who wants peace, let him now ac- 
cept God's Word, which is brightly 
revealed in this age; because if he 
does not, he will never enjoy peace. 
The axe is laid against the tree."'^ 
He allows His Word to be preached. 
It is our last chance to return to our 
Heavenly Father. And if we rebel 
against the Gospel, shall we not find 
ourselves under a terrible judgment? 
This is bound to be God's last word. 
"Do you not think, O pious Chris- 
tian, that God reveals himself and his 
Word with special zeal to this sinful 
age, because such a wantonness, such 
a destruction of real piety, justice, 
chastity, truth and faith, and in addi- 
tion to this such a dastardly grasping, 
robbery, usury and inflation have 
arisen among the majority of the 
rulers? Since the beginnings of 
Christianity the Word of God has 
never been so apparent as today, so 
that v/e can realize that it is there 
for our salvation and to rid us of all 
hypocrisy in human teaching. There- 
fore, in an age when also children 
and simple folk are able to speak. 

'Z III 34,20—35,3. 



woe to the shepherd, who keeps si- 
lent and hides the candle under a 
bushel and does the work of the 
Lord with slackness, and does not 
help in freeing God's people."^ 

The man who turns against the 
commandment of God is a sacrifice 
to his own selfishness; and opposi- 
tion to the Gospel is rooted in man's 
obstinate hold on his own ideas and 
traditions. In both cases he makes 
creation his god instead of recogniz- 
ing the one true God, who is spirit. 
Here lies the roots of the spiritual 
emphasis in Zwingli's theology. For 
the moment we can take note of the 
following: for Zwingli "belief in the 
Gospel" not only means a personal 
seizing upon the merciful promise 
of eternal salvation, but means at 
the same time a decision for a 
change in the whole social and politi- 
cal sphere of life. The opposite of 
"faith" in practical life is called "self- 
interest"; and in the field of religion 
it is called "human teaching" and 
"tradition." "It is beyond doubt that 
if man thinks he can, by reason alone, 
produce something good, he refuses 
to recognize that right and good 
come from God and His Word 
alone; he builds up an idol within 
himself, namely his own reason and 
discretion — an idol, which is hard to 

destroy, because it spreads its magic, 
its hypocritical light beams in the 
face of others and sells what it has 
as being true and righteous. Just as 
a monkey is as pleased as punch with 
its young, so is man with his dis- 

As in the case of Luther, it must 
not be forgotten that Zwingli sees 
the ground and the possibility of 
faith in Jesus Christ alone. The book 
The Shepherd expounds how faith 
and love are one in the face of the 
revealed grace of Christ: "When 
man realizes that Christ is not trying 
to trick him with His promises, then 
he has found real trust and faith in 
God. Where this exists, then it is 
impossible for godly love not to fol- 
low. For who would want to accept 
God as the merciful, true and high- 
est good and still not love Him, 
especially when He has assured us 
of His grace through Jesus Christ, 
His Son?"« 

3) We have seen how important 
the Word of God was for the first 
Reformers — the living proclamation 
found in the rediscovered Bible. In 
the case of John Calvin, a man of 
the second generation, the real and 
living strength of God's Word was 
itself the motive for the Reforma- 

«Z III 27,22—28,9. Cf. G. W. Locher, "Das Geschichtsbild Huldrych Zwinglis." 

Theologische ZeHschrift, Basel, IX/4, 1953, Seite 275-302. 
"Z III 29, 28-35. 
8Z III U, 9-14. 



tion movement. Here fear plays no 
role; a real worship of God causes 
love and deep respect spontaneously, 
"even if there were no Hell.'"^ Our 
situation in life becomes quite clear 
and simple before the powerful real- 
ity of God's Word: to honor God in 
the life of the Church of Jesus Christ. 
We cannot escape the impression 
that Calvin criticizes even his highly- 
regarded Luther when he stresses 
that the glory of God is still more 
important than our salvation.^*^ But 
with him, too, Christ is the revela- 
tion of grace and is therefore for us 
the wonderful possibility of faith. 
Yet we must acknowledge that trust 
itself represents a part of the obedi- 
ence to which we are led by the Holy 
Spirit. Its opposite is disbelief in all 
its forms, which is and always will be 

II. The Development of 


1. Let us have a look at Zwingli's 
life and work. Born on the first of 
January, 1484, in Wildhaus, Toggen- 
burg, which stands at a height of 
3,540 feet above sea level, the son of 
a free mountain-farmer and village 
magistrate, young Zwingli, when five 
years old, is given into the care of 

his uncle Bartholemew Zwingli, the 
principal priest in the parish of 
Wesen on the Lake of Walen. At the 
age of ten he is sent to the Latin 
School in Basel, and two years later 
to Bern. When he reaches the age 
of fourteen — he is already living in 
the Dominican monastery — his uncle 
sends him to the famous LTniversity 
of Vienna. In 1502 he gains his Mas- 
ter of Arts degree in Basel; and in 
1506 is ordained in Constance as a 
priest of the Church by the Bishop 
Hugo von Hohenlandenburg. For 
ten years, 1506-1516, he works as a 
priest in the small but important 
town of Glarus; during this period 
he makes a pilgrimage to Aix-la- 
Chapelle and takes part in two cam- 
paigns in Italy as a field-chaplain. As 
a supporter of the alliance with the 
Pope he has to giVQ way to the 
strength of the French Party, and as 
a result becomes a minister of the 
Church in. Einsiedeln, a famous place 
of pilgrimage. I'sfow an opponent of 
the use of mercenaries, he is called 
on New Year's Day, 1519, to fill the 
vacant post of parish priest in Zijrich 
Cathedral. He breaks away from the 
order of service as laid down by the 
Catholic Church and introduces a 
form of evangelical preaching, based 
on the exposition of whole books of 

nnst. 1,2,2 (05", VoL III 37, 4ss). 
i^E.g., against the Cardinal Sadoletus, 05" I 463s. 

i^Cf. Walther Kohler, Huldrych Zwingli, 1943. Oskar Farner, Huldrych Zwingli, 4 
Volumes, Zurich, 1943-1960. 



the Bible. The ever increasing en- 
thusiasm for his teaching causes a 
few friends to break Lent — Zwingli 
defends their action. The inactivity 
of the Bishop leads in January, 1524, 
to the calling of the First Ziirich 
Disputation by the city council to 
discuss Zwingli's principle of evan- 
gelical preaching according to Holy 
Scripture only. Zwingli's successful 
defense of his sixty-seven theses was 
the first breakthrough for the Swiss 
Reformation. The "exposition of and 
reasons for his arguments" form the 
first evangelical dogmatics in the 
German language and are Zwingli's 
profoundest work. A second disputa- 
tion follows (concerning images and 
the Mass) which led to a new atti- 
tude in the Church: the clergy must 
base its preaching on the Word 
of God; decisions concerning the 
Church can only be carried through 
by a majority vote in the parish. 
Pictures and images must be re- 
moved without disturbance from 
places of worship; funds for the cele- 
bration of masses for the dead are 
to be used for schools and for the 
care of the poor; a seminary is found- 
ed which provides instruction on bib- 
lical exegesis and preaching before 
a congregation; from the year 1525 
there is the celebration of an evan- 
gelical form of Holy Communion. In 
the same year Zwingli's most impor- 
tant work in the Latin language ap- 
pears, his Comvientarius de vera et 
falsa religione. Soon afterwards there 

follow the publications on his strug- 
gle with Luther in regard to the 
Lord's Supper. The main political 
and theological conflicts take place 
in the next few years: with the farm- 
ers, the baptists, the strict papists of 
inner Switzerland, and with Luther. 
Zwingli, however, experiences his 
greatest triumph at the Bernese Dis- 
putation of 1528, which brings the 
city and the territory stretching from 
there to Geneva into the Reforma- 
tion fold. The most important event 
for the inner history of Protestantism 
takes place in the year 1529 in. Mar- 
burg, where Zwingli and Luther 
meet to discuss their theological 
viewpoints. They agree with each 
other in every sphere except in that 
concerning Holy Communion. Even 
here the main question is whether 
their differences must lead to a split 
in the Church: Zwingli feels strong- 
ly that this need not be necessary. 
The ever worsening confessional and 
political tension with the Cantons 
of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden 
leads to bloody attacks by the latter. 
Zwingli's aim is to induce them to 
allow the promulgation of the Gos- 
pel. The strict and somewhat bun- 
gling measures of Ziirich and Bern 
drive the Liner Swiss to desperate 
counterattacks, which find the Protes- 
tants quite unprepared. At the Battle 
of Kappel the army of Ziirich, com- 
pletely inferior in numbers, is routed; 
the army chaplain, fighting bravely, 
falls in the massacre. As a result the 



Reformation movement receives a 
severe shock. However, the determi- 
nation and bravery of Zwingli's 
assistant, Leo Jud, and his young suc- 
cessor, Heinrich Bullinger, held 
Ziirich, Bern, Basel, and Schaffhausen 
along with their territories for the 

2. As far as it is possible to have 
an over-all impression of Zwingli's 
inner development, we could phrase 
it as follows. Through the influence 
of his home Zwingli shows a fervent 
love for his fatherland, his people, 
parish, and Church. The "trivium" 
schooling is customary; however, the 
Latin Schools of Basel and Bern of- 
fer courses in ancient history, this 
being the influence of the humanists. 
His studies in Vienna and Basel 
bring him into close contact with the 
medieval scholastics: there is perhaps 
also a semester in Paris which gives 
him some experience in the theology 
of Thomas Aquinas. Although at 
that time the Faculty of Arts forbids 
humanist studies, the student receives 
his first impression of humanism in 
Vienna, in fact from the viewpoint 
of Eastern Europe, which concen- 
trates more strictly on the exact sci- 
ences. His period in Glarus shows an 
increased awareness of loyalty to his 
country. During this time he also 
meets the highly respected Erasmus, 
the representative of West European 
humanism, which does homage to an 
individualist and cosmopolitan ideal 

of learning. Now Zwingli goes 
thjrough a pacifist period. Then with 
friends he forms a group which with 
its desire for political and Church 
reform and educational zeal is quite 
unique: this has recently been spo- 
ken of as "Swiss humanism." During 
his years in Einsiedeln he is busy 
studying Greek and Hebrew, the 
Church Fathers, and the Greek New 
Testament. Later he takes up the 
works of Augustine. Around 1516 
the importance of Holy Scriprare 
comes to the fore: this is to be taken 
as the result of his personal confron- 
tation with the living Christ. The 
duty of renewing the Church is 
looked upon as a holy responsibility, 
to be understood in the light of the 
Parable of the Talents. Later Zwingli 
looks back on this as the start of his 
evangelical mission. Besides the es- 
sential principle of Christ as the 
focus of understanding for salvation, 
reformed theology makes slow prog- 
ress. The early writings of Luther of 
around 1520 are still interpreted in 
the light of a reforming humanism. 
On the other hand, Luther's decisive- 
ness at the Leipzig Disputation is re- 
garded with admiration as being the 
proper example for all to follow. 
After the plague of 1519 Zwingli 
wrote a hymn which shows a deep- 
er personal faith and his readiness 
to offer himself as an instrument of 
God. This experience must have fur- 
thered his understanding of Paul's 
anthropology and teaching about sin. 



In 1522 there appears a lively and 
new interpretation of Paul's teaching 
on grace and freedom. From this 
point until his death Zwingli's the- 
ology retains its form, only small 
items being changed or added or 
made more profound, through the 
Christology of the Epistle to the He- 
brews, through the debate with the 
baptists, and the debate with Luther 
concerning the sacraments. 

3. Within the boundary of this 
awakening, brought about by preach- 
ing of Christ, v/e also have to under- 
stand the originality of the Ziirich 
Reformer and his thinking. In this 
task, however, we are still at the 
beginning. Whether critically or as 
an object of praise, during the last 
300 years Zwingli has always been 
described (both dogmatically and 
historically) in comparison to the 
professor from Wittenberg, and thus 
has never been properly understood. 
A proper understanding of Zwingli 
has also been obscured in the last 
400 years by world-wide influence of 
the Reformer from Geneva. Whether 
modern theology has reason to con- 
sider Zwingli's contribution to the 
Reformation message or not, this we 
can only decide when we know the 
man himself. One thing we have to 
notice right away is that his teaching 
on Holy Communion has to be pre- 
sented within the framework of his 
theology, and not the opposite way 

III. Principal Chapters of 
Zwingli's Theology 

1. Zwingli's way of thinking can be 
phrased in the following way: 

(a) The main elements are: his 
scholastic tendency in the sense of 
via antiqiM) which is largely Thomis- 
tic in outlook, but with certain Scot- 
istic overtones; the humanism of 
Erasmus, which even after his change 
to reformed ways exercises an influ- 
ence in the sense of a Platonistic 
understanding of spirit and soul, and 
which leads to the historical, critical, 
and linguistic exegesis of biblical 
texts, whereby the use of biblical ter- 
minology in secular writing is also 
examined. Viennese humanism drew 
Zwingli's attention to the historical 
and geographical factors of environ- 
ment in the New Testament. Swiss 
humanism adopts a stoical and im- 
pressive form of virtue, and uses an- 
cient as well as local history as a 
storehouse of examples. The Church 
Fathers, especially the Cappadocians 
and Augustine, are now being 
studied in the light of the Bible. The 
Reformer's like-minded understand- 
ing of the Old Testament prophets 
comes as a surprise; at mid-point in 
the New Testament stands the Gos- 
pel of Matthew, because of its proc- 
lamation of the Lord's words, John 
because of its Christology, the Epis- 
tles to the Romans and to the Gala- 
tians because of their teaching on 
grace, the Epistle to the Hebrews be- 



cause of its understanding of the 
sacrifice of Christ. 

(b) The motives for Zwingli's 
Reformation struggle lie: in his ac- 
ceptance of the mildly rationalistic 
and reformist thought of humanism, 
but with the keen observation that 
this alone is not enough for the re- 
demption of social and church life; 
in the Reformer's republican patriot- 
ism; in his passionate enthusiasm as 
a church minister for the Gospel of 
Christ and the spread of His love in 
the parish; in his experience that 
Christ is ever present and demands 
obedience in the rediscovered Word 
of God, and in its interpretation and 
proclamation. The Reformer himself 
states his motives in various but at 
the same time harmonious ways: "the 
glory of God, the common good of 
a Christian form of state government, 
the comfort of a stricken con- 

2. For Zwingli the Reformation de- 
cision lies in turning away from idol- 
atry to the one true God. It is this 
same worship of creation which 
manifests itself religiously in the nor- 
mative claims of human authority, 
teachings, and traditions, especially 
in sacramentalism and justification 
through works; and then socially 

through avarice, war, and licentious- 
ness. The newly proclaimed "Gospel" 
contains therefore a spiritual charac- 
ter, for it is a call away from the 
spirit of man to the Word of God, 
from the emotions to God's com- 
mand: it reveals God as our highest 
and only true comfort and posses- 
sion: summum honum. It is spiritual 
because the living Christ is revealed 
in it. As a result the oflfer of grace 
and the proffered grace itself coin- 
cide. "Gospel" is often merely a term 
for the Reformation movement. Un- 
derstood in this way it has a claim 
on all life, even public life. Zwingli 
did not "amalgamate" Church and 
State, religion and politics, but he 
never considered for a moment that 
there could be a sphere of life out- 
side the influence of God's Word. 
Throughout he thinks theocratically 
in the sense of the medieval corpus 
christianum}^ But the decision be- 
tween "God or creation" is always 
something entirely personal. The 
spiritual essence of God had already 
been emphasized by the humanists, 
but Zwingli went much further in 
that he realized that man could nei- 
ther imagine nor provide himself 
with the knowledge that "spiritual 
comfort lies in God alone" ;^* and 
therefore to overcome sin it was nec- 
essary not merely to have a principle 


^•"Cf. G. W. Locher, Die evangelische Stellung der Reformatoren zum offentlichen 

Lehen. Kirchliche Zeitfragen Heft 26. Zwingli-Verlag, Zurich, 1950. 
"Z I 346/347; 382,29s. 



of spirituality, but there must be an 
act of salvation on the part of God. 

3. The one great event which af- 
fects man most profoundly, which 
brings him salvation and the gift of 
faith, and therefore can be desig- 
nated as the most important event in 
his life, is atonement through the 
death of Christ on the cross. This is 
to be understood strictly in the sense 
of a doarine of propitiation (salis- 
f actio) and in this way can be looked 
upon as the Gospel. "For He, who is 
blameless, suffered death for us sin- 
ners, and paid the terrible price to 
obtain for us the wonderful justifica- 
tion of God, which no human can 
attain to. So He has opened up the 
way to God for us through His free 
gift of grace. Whoever hears this 
and believes without doubt shall be 
saved. This is the Gospel."^^ In con- 
trast to Anselm, Zwingli declares 
that not only justice but also God's 
mercy requires propitiation: forgive- 
ness through the dispensation of pun- 
ishment would not be pure grace.^*^ 
Again it is emphasized that no crea- 
ture, but only the eternal Son of God, 

was able to turn us from the path 
which would have led to damna- 

4. With sacrifice of His life, Christ 
has become our "Captain," that is to 
say, He rules over our life and can 
demand its sacrifice from us.^^ Yet 
the acceptance of atonement through 
faith must prove itself in our child- 
like trust of God's guidance in every- 
day matters. Zwingli's famous stress 
on providence does not challenge his 
faith in Christ, rather it is a form 
of it. Matthew 6 and Romans 8:32 
are his usual arguments. "Let us find 
our succour in God alone, who is 
our Father. For this reason we dare 
come to Him. For how will He re- 
ject us, when He has already given 
His Son for us (pro nobis) as an 
eternal security, and freed us from 
all sin?"^^ Nevertheless providence 
cannot be separated from God's om- 
nipotence. Yet for the faithful there 
remains the fact that we "are nothing 
but the instruments and implements 
through which God works," not 
something to be taken for granted, 
"because we are by nature evil."-^ 

^=•2 11478, 1-6. 

^"•Huldreich Ztvinglis Werke, herausgegeben von Melchior Schuler und Johannes 

Schulthess, Ziirich, 182Sff CS"), Vol. IV, p. 47-48. Cf. G. W. Lecher, Die Theo- 

logie Huldrych ZwingUs im Lichte seiner Christologie. Band I: Die Gotteslehre. 

1950. Seite I47f. 
i^Z II 38-40. S IV 47-48. 
i8Cf. G. W. Locher, "Christus unser Hauptmann," Ein Stiick der Verkiindigung Huld- 

nch Zwinghs in seinem kulturgeschichtlichen Zusammenhang. Zwingliana rZwa") 

IX/3 (1950/1) 121-138. 
192 11221,19-23. 
202 11186,16-26. 



5. Behind all this stands the con- 
cept of God. As in scholasticism, 
God is called summum bonum, but 
Zwingli does not lay so much stress 
upon the fact that the precious pos- 
session and fellowship with Him is 
to be reckoned as salvation, but rath- 
er that God is the fount of all good. 
Reformation thinking turns the 
scholastic concept around drastically 
with the dialectic that the perfection 
of God is in no way the result of our 
decision, arrived at as a judgment 
among other good things, but is rath- 
er the opposite — God alone is good. 
Everything which can be considered 
"good" in creation has been given 
the quality of being so "through par- 
ticipation or rather by bestov/al" and 
must be judged over against God's 
revealed goodness. (The start of 
Zwingli's work, De Providentia, 
1530.-^) The same way of thinking 
is to be maintained in regard to the 
concept of being, the only true, non- 
created Being possessing the power 
of being within Himself. Here Zwin- 
gli means neither an embracing es- 
sentia of creator and created nor a 
form of pantheism, but more what 
Thomas Aquinas described as the 
relationship between Creator and 
creation in their dissimilarity. But 
the Reformer underlines the fact that 
this relationship is created by the 
Creator and remains dependent upon 
Him. As a result the traditional 

asekas (absolute independence) of 
God, along with His being Lord, 
remains one. 

Both conceptions — God as the 
highest good and as pure being — 
are placed by Zwingli in the cate- 
gory of what he understands under 
the word "Father." To this are added 
the traditional attributes — absolute 
self-sufficiency, the all-powerful, the 
all-knowing, etc. — wherein the Tho- 
mistic conception of determinism 
sometimes plays a part. Zwingli 
stresses the essential "simplicity" 
(simplicitas) of God: his reason for 
this is, I think, to counteract Luther's 
Occamistic distinction between Deus 
ahsconditus and Detis revelatus (the 
"hidden" and the "revealed" God). 
In his revelation God offers Himself 
to us entirely. For all stoical or static- 
scholastic conceptions serve biblical, 
historical thought: God is Deus nos- 
ter, "our God." 

6. Zwingli holds firmly to early 
Church Christology: vere Deus, vere 
homo; his orthodox teaching on the 
Trinity underlines the transition to 
Christology. But after what has been 
said it is no wonder that the main 
stress is laid upon the divinity of 
Christ. In the Reformation discussion 
Luther stressed the humanity of 
Christ, whereas Zwingli stuck firmly 
to the divinity of God become man. 
Luther took hold of the revelation of 

215- IV 81. 



God, Zwingli God's revelation. The 
consequence is the Nestorian color- 
ing of the relationship between the 
two natures: the "person" of Christ 
is identical with His divinity. At the 
same time, however, Zwingli brings 
out dogmatically the importance of 
Jesus* life here on earth as no other 
Reformer has ever done. This arises 
from the fact that not only the mira- 
cles of healing but also Christ's teach- 
ing and the authority of His words 
are contained in His divinity. Hu- 
manity born of the Virgin Mary is 
the instrument of His divinity; He 
could only suffer physically, but only 
through His divinity could His suf- 
fering bring about eternal salvation, 
and just here lies the strength of pro 
nobis, "for us." The communicatio 
idiomaUmi, that is to say, the inter- 
twining of the properties of godly 
and human nature may be considered 
as communio naturarum; only in re- 
gard to the person of God become 
man is it possible to ascertain, per 
alloiosim, the properties of a nature. 
(Alloiosis, change, is a rhetorical 
term from Plutarch.) Christ's pres- 
ence in accordance with His divinity 
reaches further than His glorified 
humanity. The later so-called Extra 
Calvinisticum is already clearly for- 
mulated by Zwingli in accordance 
with the older form of scholasticism. 
(Contrary to this, the contemporary 

polemics of Roman theology and g{ 
Luther argue in the sense of a new- 
monophysitic Christology. I feel that 
there is a common root in late medi- 
eval mysticism and in nominalism.) 
I should like to refer here to two 
quotations from Zwingli, which I 
have chosen intentionally because 
they do not argue against Luther. 
"His humanity is the sacrificial lamb, 
which takes away the sin of the 
world, not because He is man, but 
because He is both God and man; 
according to His humanity He could 
suffer, but in the power of His divin- 
ity He raises us to life."^- Here the 
dyophysitic formulation and the so- 
teriological intention which stands 
behind it are clearly defined. Now 
Zwingli attacks John Eck with ex- 
treme acerbity, saying that his asser- 
tions are a perversion and a dimming 
of the Word of God and a "defama- 
tion of Christ's glory and honour, 
who sits at the right hand of the 
Father, and are a confusion of the 
two different natures of Christ, of 
which the divine penetrates every- 
thing and is ever-present: whereas 
the human can only be in one place, 
according to God's directive and de- 
cision. . . ."-^ We realize that the 
two points of view have converged. 
The "confusion of the natures" in- 
fringes upon the conception of vere 
homo, the true humanity of Christ, 

«z V 489,5-9. 
28Z V 226,3-9. 



md with it the miracle of the incar- 
lation and of the grace revealed in 
Lt, and upon his also real historicity 
md the depth of the Lord's suffering. 
The scope of this Christology is 
therefore the assurance of finding 
God in the human Jesus; but it is 
ilso a protection of Christ's human- 
ity against sliding into monophysi- 
tism or docetism, a protection of the 
identity of the risen Lord, the source 
ji faith, with the historical Jesus. 
Lastly, it is the assurance of ever- 
lasting life with the glorified Lord 
who "sits at the right hand of the 
Father." In one word, Luther's Chris- 
tology belongs to Christmas, Zwin- 
gii's to Easter or (still better) to 
His ascension: it speaks of Him to 
whom all power is given. From here 
stems his teaching about the State. 

7. But the stress on divinity first 
:alls forth a certain form of spiritual- 
ism (guided by the dogma of the 
Trinity). Man was dependent upon 
the Holy Spirit even before the fall. 
Since then all knowledge of God, in 
fact all knowledge of truth as well 
as natural Law, is especially depend- 
ent upon the Holy Spirit because 
'man is untruthful."-'^ The Spirit and 
freedom of God are not bound to 
the history of salvation. Zwingli's 

enumeration of pious heathens, 
whom he looks forward to meeting 
in Heaven, is famous.-^ But here it 
is necessary to observe that even this 
has nothing to do with human 
achievement. Wherever truth, how- 
ever fragmentary, has been recog- 
nized am.oog pagans, there had al- 
ways been a special pron(juncement 
from the Holy Ghost. Even knowl- 
edge of self and repentance stem 
only from the Spirit of God. Actu- 
ally fai:h in Christ is His gift: "No 
one can come tc m(. unless drawn 
by the Father" (Johf 6:44) is one of 
the most referred Lo texts quoted 
by Zwingli. The understanding of 
Christ's divinity and humanity is also 
a gift of the Spirit. Even more im- 
portant is the fact that Christ is pres- 
ent in Spirit by virtue of His divin- 
ity. Thus He grants forgiveness, faith, 
comfort, assurance, peace with God 
and rises to true life. "The spirit of 
man cannot do this."-*^ No one can 
understand the Word of God unless 
he is enlightened by God's Spirit: 
"Without the Spirit flesh perverts 
the Word of God and makes it the 
opposite."-^ On the other hand, the 
following points belong to the at- 
tributes of the Spirit: 1) Conform- 
ity to Holy Scripture, which is itself 
inspired by the Spirit; 2) the striv- 

-'^Omnis homo mendax, Ps. 116.11 = Ro. 3.4. — Z II 96,30 and passim quoted by 

^^Cf. Rudolf Pfister, Die Seligkeit envdhlter Heiden hei Zivingli, 1952. 
26Z V 968,24. 
"5" V 773. ;l 



ing after God's honor; and 3) the 
humility of man. That the Spirit of 
God in His freedom does not allow 
Himself to be bound to creaturely 
existence is not an ontological con- 
sequence but a soteriological neces- 
sity: the merciful praesentia Dei, the 
presence of God, is a prerequisite of 
faith, not the contrary.-^ 

8. From these premises, derived 
from the revelation of God, it be- 
comes evident that Christianity, evan- 
gelically understood, is the one true 
religion.-^ "The true religion or piety 
is that which holds onto God alone, 
to the exclusion of all other things."^ "^ 
"False religion or piety exists where 
man lays his trust in something other 
than God. Whoever trusts some form 
of creation cannot be truly pious. He 
is ungodly who accepts the word of 
man as if it were God's Word."^^ 
Not only that God is, but also who 
He is — both must be revealed to us 
by God Himself. 

for it is grace which redeems; faith is 
drawn into the over-all action of the 
Spirit. The corrections which Calvin 
applies to Luther's terminology are 
also applied by Zwingli. Justification, 
which Zwingli likes to translate lit- 
erally ("making justified") is to be 
understood along with forgiveness. 
The denial of justification by works 
is the great liberation; trust in one's 
own deeds belongs to the deification 
of the created. The new work, arising 
out of Spirit, faith, and love is de- 
scribed in a lively form: "The more 
faith grows, the more the work of all 
good things grows,"^^ because the 
believer is moved to such action by 
God. This faith is experientia (ex- 
perience) and fiducia (trust), which 
must be separated sharply from jides 
historica (historical faith without 
personal involvement) and opinio 
(personal opinion). Faith, in the 
true sense of the word, can only have 
God as its content, just as it also has 
a divine source. 

9. 'Paith is "restfulness and assur- 
ance in the merit (meritum) of 
Christ,"^- and it is this faith which 
"provides salvation." The expression 
cannot really be accepted as it stands, 

10. Because Christ gives us faith — 
something which no man can give — 
the Word, out of which it stems, is 
the "inner Word," verhum internum, 
"spoken into" (eingesprochen)^'^ by 

2scf. Z V 583. 

-^Cf. the Reformer's main work in Latin, De vera et falsa religione Commentarius. Z 
III 590-912. i 

30Z III 669,17-18. ! 

siZ III 674,20-24. i 

3-Z II 182,4-5. j 

2-Z II 183,7-8. I 

s-iZII 110,19. 



the Spirit of the Lord. The outer 
word is ordained by God; it denotes 
the highest mandate and cannot be 
opposed, but it remains at every turn 
dependent upon the fact that the 
Lord Himself accompanies the word 
of man and opens the heart of the 
listener to it. The Lord's presence, 
vouchsafed in the Roman Catholic 
Church by the sacrament, cannot be 
guaranteed on the evangelical side 
merely by the sermon. Luther is 
amazed that the Spirit of God at- 
taches Himself to the Word; Zwingli 
takes care to emphasize that the 
Word remains attached to the Spirit, 
and the proclamation of the Word 
knows itself to be dependent on the 
free gift of grace. The sermon wit- 
nesses to salvation, but it is the work 
of the Spirit which makes it actual."^ 

11. This always leads, on the basis 
of the biblical challenge and the ex- 
ample of Christ, to repentance. Re- 
pentance precedes as well as succeeds 
faith. (In the case of Luther it is the 
predecessor to faith, whereas Calvin 
declared emphatically that there can 
be no repentance without faith.) For 
Zv/ingli repentance exists in the 
knowledge and denial of oneself and 
in guarding against a possible relapse. 
It exists also in the continual flight 
to Christ's grace — Romans 7 speaks 

of the "reborn" — because sin always 
remains in the believer, "although it 
is mastered and held down by 

12. In the discipleship of Christ 
the Law is not superfluous, for h is 
the steadfast will of God. Extrinsic 
commandments, even those in the 
Bible, lose their efficacy in Christ, 
especially the law pertaining to cere- 
mony. But what applies to the inner 
man has been raised by Christ as the 
divine Lawgiver to everlasting valid- 
ity. And this is precisely the com- 
mandment of love, which is referred 
to by natural law in vain. Just as for- 
giveness belongs to salvation, so does 
the "Law of Christ" also: he who is 
filled with love is happy in the Law 
— here it loses its juristic character 
and reveals itself to be a part of the 
Gospel. Against the opinion of Lu- 
ther it is noted that "for him who 
loves God the Law is a Gospel."^^ 

13. However, even before this, the 
Law had revealed our "misery," but 
nov/here so apparently as in the 
Word of Christ. Our whole knowledge 
of sin presupposes instruction by the 
Spirit and by faith. Zwingli also dif- 
ferentiates between peccatum origin- 
ale ( original sin ) and peccata actual- 
ia ( sinful deeds ) . He bases the forms 

^^Cf. G. "W. Locher, Im Geist und in der Wahrheit. Die reformatorischt 

Gottesdienst zu Zurich. Neukirchen, 1957. S.16-19. 
36ZI 351, 30f. 
37Z II 232, 13f. 

Wendung im 



on a translation of Augustine's mor- 
bus (illness), which has been mis- 
understood up to the present day. It 
does not mean infirmity, but an in- 
curable breach. Our nature is 
"broken" in Adam, and totally so; we 
are wholly evil: "Tlesh" is also our 
spiritual existence,"^ although in 
Zwingli's later writings the soul (not 
intelligence) is considered as that 
part of man to which the Holy Ghost 
speaks. Original sin is, as in the eyes 
of Augustine and Luther, love and 
perversion of oneself: it is always the 
rejection of the divine Spirit in fa- 
vor of oneself and of creation. Phy- 
sical death is the consequence and 
image of eternal death, in which we 
already partake. 

14. Thus Zwingli represents the 
servum arbitrium, the teaching of 
unfree will in opposition to the 
optimism of the humanists — and 
answered Erasmus even before Luther 
did. Redemption occurs through 
grace on the ground of election.^^ 
Not only is predestination a special 
case of providence, it is also the basis 
for the assurance of salvation. Its 
definition is original: in the eternal 
decree the revelation of Christ holds 
precedence. The merciful election of 
the individual refers to Christ's reve- 

lation, whereas it is God's justice 
which justifies him. Condemnation is 
hardly touched upon; we should be- 
lieve in the election of our brother 
up to the point where the opposite 
could be proved, which is almost im- 
possible. Here we recognize the root 
of "federal theology." 

15. The earthly side of election and 
of the covenant of God is the exis- 
tence of the Church. It is born of 
Gfxl's Word and governed by the 
cathedra Dei ( the throne at the right 
hand of God):^^ the Pope is there- 
fore the antichrist. The government 
of the Church takes place through 
the v/orking of the Holy Spirit. After 
his experience with the baptists, 
Zwingli adds the point that the 
Spirit maintains the Church in har- 
mony and order through the minis- 
tries to which civil magistrates also 
can belong.*^ In the foreground 
stands the "shepherd" or "guardian," 
the "bishop," who preaches. The con- 
gregation watches over the life of its 
members and the preaching of its 
shepherd, and has jus reformandi, the 
right to reform itself. Hardened sin- 
ners, especially those in connection 
with money, are to be refused Holy 
Communion. Yet the key ministry 
lies in the proclamation of the 

3«Z II 99. Z III 660,10ff. 

39Cf. G. W. Locher, "Die Praedestinationslehre Huldrych Zwinglis. Theol. Zeitschrift. 

Basel, XII/5, 1956, S. 526-548. 
40Z I 26-35. 
4iCf. Zwingli's letter to Ambrosius Blarer in Constance, Z IX 451-467. 



Gospel (as in the Heidelberg Cate- 
chism). Forgiveness is the preroga- 
tive and action of God; this dare not 
be overshadowed by any institution 
of confession. In the light of Ezekiel 
3 the Church has been given the posi- 
tion of prophetic guardian over pub- 
lic life: the nation is lost if this is 

16. According to these conditions it 
is not surprising that the sacraments, 
enacted by man, are an answer and 
witness of the Church. They are 
"public signs of duty."^- They pre- 
suppose faith. They cannot, however, 
transmit grace nor relieve the stricken 
conscience. Yet there arises a sym- 
bolic analogy between the signs and 
that which they represent, wherein 
the sacrament contains an emphasis 
which surpasses the spoken word.^^ 

In his Conclusions Zwingli dis- 
putes the sacrificial character of Holy 
Communion on the basis of the Epis- 
tle to the Hebrews (the "once").** 
Soon afterwards the polemic against 
transubstantiation and consubstantia- 
tion arose. After the time of the letter 
from Cornells Hoen*^ he professes 
the symbolic interpretation of the 
institutionary words (significat), 
whereby the real presence of the 
Body of Christ in the elements is ex- 
cluded. Zwingli does not look upon 
this interpretation as an impoverish- 

*2Z III 759,19 publica consignatio. 
^^SYW 11. 

ment, but more as profound progress. 
What concerns him in article 18 is 
the way we regard the eternal salva- 
tion that is wrought for us: "remem- 
brance" (memoria, anamnesis). Ac- 
cording to biblical texts he then un- 
folds his teaching: "Do that in re- 
membrance of me!" Thus the Lord's 
Supper is giving thanks for Christ's 
gracious sacrifice (euchanstia), a cele- 
bration in remembrance of it and a 
communal meal. In opposition to 
Luther and Calvin, the communion 
of believers is the actor in the cele- 
bration and not Christ. The follow- 
ing points, however, have to be re- 
m^embered. 1) "Remembrance" is 
not an intellectual procedure, which 
merely awakens associations with the 
past, but is a belonging to the pres- 
ent; memoria according to Augus- 
tine is the spiritual strength of reali- 
zation and of consciousness. 2 ) From 
the very beginning Zwingli lays 
stress upon the Lord's Supper as 
representing the full presence of 
Christ to our souls through faith. For 
faith there is even His bodily pres- 
ence, especially in what He has done 
for us (His res gestae) . Here the gift 
of Holy Communion is revealed 
clearly. As a consequence of the dis- 
cussion with Luther, Zwingli works 
upon this train of thought until he 
reaches a point very near the attitude 
of Calvin. He describes it in the fol- 

4^ZII ll6flF. 
^^Z IV 505-519. 



lowing parable. "A husband, intend- 
ing to travel into a far country, gives 
his wife his finest ring, on which is 
engraved his image, and says: 'Look, 
here I am, your husband; hold to me 
even during my absence and rejoice 
in me!' Thus he goes much further 
than if he were to say: 'Look, my 
ring!' With his words he gives him- 
self and as it were says: 'I want you 
always to be certain that I am entire- 
ly yours! "'**^ 

But here also it is completely clear 
that the meaning which Luther attrib- 
utes to "the sacrament of the altar" 
is taken by Zwingli to apply to Christ 
Himself. The main arguments against 
Luther are 1) the evidence of the 
symbolic form of expression in Holy 
Scriptures ( "I am the vine" ) ; 2 ) the 
text John 6:63 ("It is the spirit that 
give^ life; the flesh is of no avail" ) ; 
and 3 ) the bodily ascension of Christ. 
The debate is carried out philosophi- 
cally on both sides. Luther uses 
scholastic arguments, and Zwingli 
those of humanist platonism: external 
signs can have no influence on the 
soul. These thoughts, however, stand 
in the service of the Christological 
decision: if atonement is won on the 
cross, then the comfort of the stricken 

soul does not depend upon the cele- 
bration of the sacrament. This is an 
alternative which Luther did not 
recognize, and therefore could never 
understand. Zwingli's protest was 
however not rationalistic but Chris- 
tological. "We do not derive the 
absurd from the situation — what is 
absurd in the eyes of faifh is really 
absurd."*^ Christ is Himself both the 
fulfillment as well as the pledge of 
grace. Wherever faith is bound tight- 
ly to any ceremony, then for Zwingli 
the whole Reformation is in danger. 

17. The same trust in the strength 
of God's Spirit leads to the theocratic 
ideal: the Reformation of the Church 
must also bring about a renewal of 
the S/:afe. The boundaries are fluid: 
"A Christian city is the same as a 
Christian congregation,"*^ and the 
magistrates must be aware that they 
are responsible for the well-being of 
Christ's sheep. They govern accord- 
ing to imperfect "human justice," 
which at the most gives "to each his 
own" (suum cuique), whereas divine 
justice gives us what does not belong 
to us. But within this boundary God 
restrains chaos by means of com- 
mandment and authority .*'' The task 

4^5 IV 38f. 

4'Z V 618,8-18. 

485" VI,I 6. 

49Cf. ""Von gottlicher und menschlicher Gerechtigkeit," 1523, Z II 458-525. Also in 
Huldrych Zwingli: Von gottlicher und menschlicher Gerechtigkeit. Sozialp otitis che 
Schriften fur die Gegenwart, ausgewahlt und eingeleitet von L. von Muralt and O. 
Earner. Zurich, Rascher-Verlag, 1934. Also in Zwingli-Hauptschriften, Band 7 (Der 
Stoat smann) , herausgegeben von R. Pfister, Zurich, 1942, Seiten 31-104. 



of politics and business is the service 
of God, whereby the proclaimed 
Word has to remain timely in its de- 
mands and press for improvement in 
conditions. Here Zwingli encourages 
every citizen to maintain his right of 
opposition according to his respon- 
sibility.^^ The democratic Zwingli is 
of the opinion that the slavery in 
Babylon was God's punishment upon 
Israel for tolerating such a tyrant as 

Church and State in combination 
with a humanist tendency in educa- 
tion. On the whole this was a Refor- 
mation which broke up on the pe- 
riphery and then pushed through to 
its spiritual center, and from there 
returned back to the periphery. Its 
sober happiness must not be for- 
gotten: "If you feel that the fear of 
God makes you more happy than sad, 
that is certainly the work of God's 
Word and Spirit."^- 

18. It is impossible for us to pursue 
the way in which a theocratic atti- 
tude overcomes Zwingli's humanism. 
"Education can be presented as the 
servant of wisdom, her mistress," 
whereby wisdom consists of the 
proper worship and love of God.^^ 

IV. Conclusions 

1. Characteristic of the Ziirich Re- 
former is the combination of a theo- 
centric and theocratic way of think- 
ing with a spiritualistic Christology; 
the stress upon the objectivity of 
salvation in election and atonement, 
together with the application of heal- 
ing in Spirit and faith; and the re- 
sponsibility for communal life in 

2. Luther sees before him the trou- 
bled man and preaches to him the 
soUis Christus, the Christ pro me. 
Zwingli sees before him the untruth- 
ful, selfish man and the confusion of 
his social life. He cries to the solus 
Deus, the Deus noster in the Christus 
noster. Calvin sees before him man 
as a disobedient individual. He calls 
him to order and salvation under the 
glory of Christ in His Church: 
Domini sumus, "we are the Lord's! "^^ 
In their teaching about the Word of 
God Luther and Calvin stand closer 
together against Zwingli. In Chris- 
tology Zwingli and Calvin are in 
agreement against Luther. It is the 
same with the doctrine of the Spirit 
and the relationship between Spirit 

50Z II 344. S IV 59. 

515 VI, I 375. 

5-Z I 384, 17-19, at the end of the sermon "Of the Clarity and Certainty of the Word 
of God." Cf. the excellent English edition and the valuable introductions in Ztvingli 
and BulUnger. Selected Translations with Introduaions and Notes, by G. W. Bromi- 
ley. {The Library of Christian Classics, Vol. XXIV.) London, 1953. 

"•Hnst. 111,7,1. 



and Word. But of all the Reformers 
Zwingli possesses the strongest pneu- 
matological dynamic. In his teaching 
on election he has found the most 
helpful definition; it is a pity that in 
reformed church tradition this should 
soon have been replaced by Calvin's 
systematics. In their understanding of 
the Church Zwingli and Luther are 
united in the medieval image of 
corpus christianum, whilst Zwingli's 
theocratic will was realized more 
forcefully by Calvin with his motlern 
outlook, in which he pressed for a 
free Church. 

3. Considering our responsibility 
for transmitting fruitfully the Refor- 
mation inheritance, it is surprising 
that a correct understanding of Zwin- 
gli's theoloey can givQ men and 
women of today suggestions for tasks 
as well as for help. For example we 
can name the following points: 

(a) Zwingli's unrestrained and 
open approach to philosophy, stem- 
ming from his allegiance to the 
biblical message and not in spite of it. 

(b) His natural openness to the 
world of religion even in his harshest 
criticism of it. 

(c) His ethical dynamic and cul- 
tic asceticism in conjunction with 
everything that can be called "service 
of God." 

(d) His exemplary motivation 
for the socio-ethical problematic — 
not as an annex, but as being in the 
center of faith. This is in contrast to 
religious individualism, from which 
neither Lutheran ism nor Rome has 
been able to free itself. Nor did the 
later Protestantism free itself of this. 

(e) Lastly, I know of no other Re- 
former who has anticipated to such 
a degree the modern ecumenical- 
missionary watchword of the Church, 
which is only Church when it lowers 
its walls to public life and becomes 
"the Church for the world." 

In all these different ways the 
voice of the misinterpreted Ziirich 
Reformer has much of significance to 
tell us. "For the love ct God do 
something brave!" Huldrych Zwingli 
cries.^* And: "Truth has a happy 

s^Z X 165,4. 

^^Quoted from GoU ist Meister. Zwingli-W orte fur unsere Zeit. Aust;ewahlt von Oskar 

Earner. (Zwingli-Biicherei 8.) Zurich, 1940. (Fr'^m the Enchiridion Vsalmnrum, Z 

^111 i ,) 

On Demythologizing 

by Schubert M. Ogden* 

In inviting me tc lecture to you, 
President Millet indicated that you 
would be interested in so»ne word 
from me on the question of demyth- 
ologizing. Since my own interest in 
this question continues unabated — 
and I become ever more tirmly con- 
vinced that, w^hen demythologizing 
is rightly understood, it is the only 
possible way forward for Protestant 
theology — I am happy to be guided 
by this indication of your interest, 
and so offe.r the following remarks 
under the general heading, "On De- 

This reference to what I shall say 
as "remarks" is deliberate. The ques- 
tion of demythologizing is astonish- 
ingly complex, and no brief statement 
such as could be made within an 
hour could more than scratch the sur- 
face in any case. Furthermore, since I 
have already written at some length 
on this question, what little I have to 
offer toward its clarification can be 
studied at leisure by anyone who 
cares to do so. But, more important 
still, experience has led me to con- 
clude that (with due apologies to 
Kant) if discussions without lectures 
are blind, lectures without discus- 
sions are empty. Therefore, I do not 

propose to take up our entire time 
together simply lecturing to you. In- 
stead, I shall direct my remarks to- 
ward outlinirig a few of the essential 
points, hoping thereby to stimulate 
your own reflectior:" and questions, 
which I shall then do my best to 
ansv\^er in the time that remains. 

I. On Religious Symbolism 

IN General 

It would be generally agreed that, 
whatever is to be understood by the 
word "myth" (or "mythology") it at 
least points us to the phenomienon of 
religious language or symboiism. 
Many, indeed, take the position that 
myth covers the whole ground of 
religious symbolismi, that *.he only 
language in which religious experi- 
ence — or, if you will, the experience 
of faith — can find expression is the 
language of myth. I do not myself 
take this position, since it seems to 
me, on careful analysis, to be inco- 
herent and to give rise to needless 
paradox. I shall return to this point 
later. Nevertheless, I do agree that 
myth is an important species of reli- 
gious language or symbolism, and 
that it is best approached by consider- 

* A lecture delivered at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, February 23, 1967. 




ing it in relation to the larger genus 
to which it belongs. Accordingly, I 
turn, first, to a consideration of reli- 
gious symbolism in general. I shall 
make five main points, which to- 
gether outline my own approach to 
this more general question. But I am 
well aware, as you will be, that mak- 
ing them as baldly as I must raises a 
whole host of questions that need to 
be pursued much, much further than 
I shall attempt to pursue them here. 

1. Man is the symbol-making, 
symbol-using animal (animal sym- 
boliaim). — It is the distinctive pre- 
rogative of the uniquely human being 
that it not only is but also knows that 
it is. Man has the capacity of con- 
sciousness or self-consciousness, and 
so is uniquely the creature of mean- 
ing. He is able to understand himself 
and his fellow creatures and the en- 
compassing reality in v/hich they 
have their origin and end and, 
through his thought and language, is 
able to bring this complex reality to 
a unique expression. As logos him- 
self, he is able to grasp the logos of 
the reality which presents itself in his 
experience and to re-present this 
reality through symbolic speech and 

2. Man^s capacity to discern ynean- 
ing and to give it symbolic expres- 
sion is what lies behind the whole 
complex phenomenon of human cul- 
ture, including religion. — Culture is 

quite properly defined as the objecti- 
fication of meaning in various sym- 
bolic forms; it is the re-presentation 
through speech and action of the 
complex reality of self, others, and 
the whole which is presented in our 
experience. What distinguishes "reli- 
gion" as one ailtural expression 
alongside of others (art, science, 
morality, etc.) is the attempt to ex- 
press the ultimate meaning of man's 
existence by grasping the logos of the 
whole of reality that we encounter in 
our experience and re-presenting it 
through appropriate symbolic forms. 
Thus "religious symbolism," in this 
sense of "religious," comprises all 
forms of speech and action that serve 
directly and explicitly as airrency for 
this attempt. 

3. Religious symbols are explicitly 
or implicitly cognitive in meaning. 
— The determinative use or function 
of such symbols is to make claims 
about reality as experienced w^hich 
are in some sense capable of being 
true or false. This is not to say that 
the only use of religious symbols is 
to assert truth-claims. Clearly, such 
symbols function not only indica- 
tively, to make assertions, but also 
expressively, to convey feelings and 
convictions, and imperatively, to en- 
join others to certain beliefs or ac- 
tions. The symbols of religion em- 
body confessions and injunctions, as 
well as proposals for belief. Never- 
theless, if one tries to interpret reli- 



gious symbolism as having a wholly 
"noncognitive" meaning, he is bound 
to fail. Implicitly, at least, all reli- 
gious symbols are "cognitive." 

4. The cognitive meaning of reli- 
gious symbols (or, as we may also 
say, the kind of truth- claims they 
make) is sui generis. — Cognitivity 
means many things, not simply one 
thing; and the words "know" and 
"true" have a variety of uses, not 
merely one use. This must always be 
insisted upon against the imperialism 
of those who would make one use of 
"know" or "true" their only use. To 
determine whether a certain symbol 
(or kind of symbol) has cognitive 
meaning, is capable of being used to 
make a truth-claim, it is always 
wrong to ask whether it meets the 
truth conditions appropriate to some 
other symbol ( or kind of symbol ) . 
One must ask, rather, whether it 
meets its oiun kind of truth condi- 
tions, which is to say, whether there 
are some specifiable intersubjective 
criteria or standards to which it may 
be referred to determine its truth or 
falsity. One can set about determin- 
ing whether there are any such stand- 
ards by ( 1 ) recalling that assertions 
always function as answers to ques- 
tions; (2) establishing v/hat kind of 
a question it is to which a given kind 
of assertion functions as an answer; 
and (3) clarifying the presupposi- 
tions of that kind of a question. Im- 
plied in these presuppositions will be 

the criteria of truth relevant for judg- 
ing assertions answering that kind of 

Thus, for example, an analysis of 
the language of science which pro-^ 
ceeds by these three steps discloses 
the following: scientific assertions 
presuppose that something which 
might not be the case at all in fact is 
the case, and they serve to answer 
the question of what that something 
is. Accordingly, a scientific assertion 
is true which so answers the question 
of what is in fact the case that we 
can successfully predict particular 
future events and thus avoid un- 
pleasant or even dangerous surprises. 
Or, to give another illustration, anal- 
ysis discloses that moral assertions 
presuppose that something which 
might not be done at all ought to be 
done, and that they serve to answer 
the question of what that som.ething 
is. Accordingly, a moral assertion is 
true which so answers the question 
of v/hat ought to be done that we 
can act in a way which maximizes 
the realization of human aims and 
minimizes their frustration. 

5. The kind of truth-claims reli- 
gious symbols are capable of making 
becomes evident when they are seen 
to re-present ansivers to the question 
of faith, luhere "faith" is understood 
to mean the basic confidence that life 
is worth living. — To exist as a man 
at all is to exist on the basis of faith 
in this sense of the word. Man lives 



and acts, finally, only according to 
certain principles of truth, beauty, 
and goodness, which he understands 
to be normative for his existence. 
And invariably implied in this under- 
standing is the confidence that these 
norms have an unconditional validity 
and that a life lived in accordance 
with them is v/orth living. In this 
sense, our experience of our selves 
and the world in relation to totality 
is always essentially religious or an 
experience grounded in faith. We 
are men at all only because of our 
inalienable trust that our own exis- 
tence and existence generally are 
somehow justified or made meaning- 
ful by the whole to which we know 
ourselves and others to belong. But 
this trust is also continually called in 
question — or, rather, how we are to 
understand our trust and re-present it 
symbolically is constantly open to 
criticism by reference to the actual 
conditions of human life. Thus, for 
example, reflection on the "boundary 
situation" of death may completely 
shatter any quasi-animal-like assur- 
ance that life is worth living. Even 
so, the question of faith, to which 
religious symbols in one way or 
another ofi^er an answer, is never the 
question whether there is a ground 
of basic confidence in life's worth — 
any more than the question answered 
by a scientific assertion is whether 
there is a world of fact which is 
somehow intelligibly ordered. The 
question of faith, rather, is how that 

ground and our inalienable confi- 
dence in it can be adequately under- 
stood and symbolized. 

Therefore, recalling our earlier 
examples of the analysis of scientific 
and moral assertions, we may sum- 
marize the results of an analysis of 
religious language as follows: reli- 
gious assertions presuppose that 
something is and could not fail to be 
the ground of basic confidence in the 
worth of life, and they serve to an- 
swer the question of how that some- 
thing is to be understood. According- 
ly, a religious assertion is true which 
so answers the question of the 
ground of confidence in life's worth 
that we are ?ble to accept ourselves 
and our world and affirm the norms 
governing our life, free from the 
anxiety that our life is ultimately 
worthless or without any point. 
Otherwise put, the criterion for the 
truth of religious symbolism holds 
that such symbols are true insofar as 
they so explicate our unforfeitable 
assurance that life is worth while that 
the understanding of faith they re- 
present cannot be falsified by the 
essential conditions of life itself. This 
means, of course, that religious sym- 
bols are at once similar and dissimilar 
to the symbols of science. Like scien- 
tific symbols, they are true only inso- 
far as they are confirmed by the facts 
of our experience. But, unlike scien- 
tific symbols, the "facts" in their case 
are not the variable details of our 
experience, but its constant structure. 



The reality with which religious sym- 
bols must come to terms to be true is 
not the world disclosed by our senses, 
but our own existence as selves, as 
those who experience themselves and 
others to be finite-free parts of an 
infinite and encompassing whole. 

II. On Myth in Particular 

So much for religious symbolism 
in general. We now need to ask 
about myth in particular, or, if you 
will, about the dijjerentia of myth as 
one species of the religious language 
whose generic properties we have 
just tried to clarify. 

I believe the word "myth" may be 
defined by means of three closely re- 
lated statements. First, "myth" refers 
to a certain language or form of 
speaking which, like other languages, 
serves to re-present some field of 
human experience in a particular 
way. Second, the field of experience 
that the language of myth, like reli- 
gious symbolism generally, serves to 
re-present is our original, internal 
awareness of our selves and the 
world as parts of an encompassing 
whole, i.e., as included in the circum- 
ambient reality within which all 
things come to be, are what they are, 
and pass away. Third, the particular 
way in which the language of myth 
re-presents this awareness is in terms 
and categories based in our derived 
external perception of reality as the 
object of our ordinary sense experi- 

ence. (There are doubtless other 
characteristics of myth — for example, 
its typical narrative form — that 
would need to be included in a more 
explicit definition. But, so far as I 
can see, the characteristics covered by 
these three statements are the really 
essential ones, in which any others 
are more or less evidently implied.) 

You will have recognized that it is 
the third of these defining statements 
which sets forth the specific differ- 
ence of myth from religious lan- 
guage generally. What makes myth 
myth is that it re-presents the experi- 
ence of faith in terms and categories 
whose proper function is to re- 
present the very different experience 
which we have through sense percep- 
tion. Thus I like to say, borrowing a 
concept of Gilbert Ryle, that myth 
by its very nature involves a "cate- 
gory mistake," i.e. ( in Ryle's words ) , 
"the presentation of facts belonging 
to one category in the idioms appro- 
priate to another." This is well illus- 
trated by myth's typical misrepre- 
sentation of the divine transcendence 
as though it involved an immense 
spatial distance. When myth speaks 
of God (or the gods) as located 
somewhere "out there," "in heaven," 
it really intends to express our inner 
awareness of our selves and the world 
as parts of totality, as related to the 
encompassing reality from which we 
come and to which we return. But 
this, its true intention, is in fact ob- 
scured by the linguistic terms in 



which it speaks: the category of 
space that its terms presuppose is 
based not in this inner awareness of 
our existence in relation to others 
and the whole, but in the very dif- 
ferent perception through our senses 
whereby we objectify the world ex- 
ternal to us. The point that I, along 
with Bultmann, wish to insist on is 
that this obscuring of its real func- 
tion or intention is the distinctive 
trait of mythical language. Whatever 
its concrete contents, any form of 
speaking may be properly regarded 
as mythical that exemplifies an in- 
appropriate use of categories, a 
"category mistake," of this particular 

III. On Demythologizing 

With this, we should be in a posi- 
tion to see why demythologizing is 
both possible and necessary. It is pos- 
sible because the intention of myth 
itself is only very imperfectly real- 
ized by its own terms and categories. 
We may say, indeed, that myth by its 
very nature demands to be critically 
interpreted so as to overcome the 
conflict between the reality of which 
it in fact speaks and the linguistic 
forms in which it does so. But this 
necessity for demythologizing be- 
comes even more obvious in face of 
the question of myth's truth. I have 
held that myth is a species of reli- 
gious symbolism and that, therefore, 
the determinative use to which it is 

put is cognitive, i.e., to make claims 
about reality, about our selves, others, 
and the whole, which are in some 
sense capable of being true. But be- 
cause of the "category mistake" 
which makes myth myth, this con- 
tention that myth can be true pre- 
sents a peculiar problem. If a myth- 
ical assertion is taken literally, and so 
judged by the criterion of truth 
naturally suggested by its terms and 
categories — i.e., by the scientific cri- 
terion of truth — it must sooner or 
later be rejected as false. On the 
other hand, if we try to judge a 
mythical assertion by the different 
criterion I have proposed as relevant 
to religious assertions, we have no 
choice but to take it as a symbol, 
whose meaning must first be trans- 
lated into other nonmythical terms 
before its truth can be assessed. This 
is simply to say that we can verify a 
mythical assertion only by following 
the twofold hermeneutical procedure 
that Bultmann has called "demyth- 
ologizing": we must take the asser- 
tion not literally but symbolically 
and so interpret it as to reallocate 
the "facts" of which it speaks to 
another, more appropriate "idiom." 
This means that the mythical asser- 
tion must be interpreted in terms of 
the answer it gives to the question of 
faith and that this answer must then 
be restated in terms in which such 
answers can be literally and properly 
given. Only after both of these steps 
are taken can one determine whether 



a mythical assertion is true. For the 
truth of such an assertion is like the 
truth of a metaphor; it is actually the 
truth of the understanding of faith of 
which the assertion itself is but an 
inadequate symbol. 

This brings us to the most dis- 
puted point in the whole demytholo- 
gizing discussion — namely, whether 
it is possible, as I am here assuming, 
to restate the meaning of mythical 
assertions in nonmythical language. 
Critics of demythologizing have re- 
peatedly maintained that this cannot 
be done. Some have held that since 
myth is the only possible language in 
which the experience of faith can 
find expression, any demythologizing 
that refuses simply to eliminate the 
experience of faith can only be re- 
mythologizing, the interpretation of 
one m.ythical assertion in terms of 
another. To this objection, I reply 
that there is no good reason thus to 
assume that myth covers the whole 
ground of religious language, while 
there are good reasons to assume the 
contrary. As soon as one grants that 
an assertion is mythical and is not to 
be taken literally, then he can con- 
tinue to affirm that the assertion is 
true — or, at least, capable of being 
true — only if he can at some point 
translate it into nonmythical terms 
that can be taken literally. The only 
alternative is a regressus ad infinitum 
which stultifies the affirmation that 
myth is or can be true. Furthermore, 
it is simply a fact that not all reli- 


gious language exhibits the same fea- 
tures, so that it is impossible to com- 
prehend all of it under the word 
"myth" used with any definiteness. 
Isaiah's statement that the Lord is "an 
everlasting rock" (26:4) is clearly 
quite different from John's statement 
that "God is love" (I John 4:16). 
But what makes the case of some of 
the critics of demythologizing plau- 
sible is their demonstration of the 
inadequacy of the various attempts to 
translate myth into nonmythical 
terms. Many of them point to the 
fact that in the classical theological 
tradition the mythical utterances of 
Scripture have been badly treated by 
being restated in the terms of a so- 
called "Chjristian philosophy." Tlie 
personal God clearly witnessed to by 
the scriptural myths has been utterly 
misrepresented in this tradition as 
the impersonal Absolute of the Greek 
metaphysics of being. Likewise, 
critics of Bultmann's use of Martin 
Heidegger's existentialist philosophy 
have seriously questioned whether it 
provides any more adequate concep- 
tuality for translating the meaning of 
mythical assertions. My own view is 
that this question is completely justi- 
fied, and that Bultmann's existential- 
ist interpretation can no more be un- 
critically accepted than the meta- 
physical interpretation of traditional 
theology. Whatever Bultmann's in- 
tention in his existentialist interpre- 
tation — and it is clear, I believe, that 
his intention is not the reductionist 



one often ascribed to him — the fact 
remains that it makes possible only a 
one-sided translation of scripture's 
mythical assertions. Myth does in- 
deed re-present man's own self- 
understanding. But, as I have tried to 
make clear, myth, like religious sym- 
bolism generally, also re-presents an 
understanding of the total complex 
reality presented in man's most basic 
experience. It expresses an under- 
standing of self, others, and the 
whole — or, as we may say in theo- 
logical terms, of man, the world, and 
God — never simply an understanding 
of man, or of man and the world, 
alone. Therefore, I not only grant but 
insist that if myth is to be inter- 
preted adequately, this cannot be 
done solely within the terms of a 
narrowly conceived existentialist 
philosophy. What is required, rather, 
is a complete metaphysical concep- 
tuality in terms of which we may 
properly speak of God and the world, 
as well as of man or the self. Need- 
less to say, if such a metaphysics is to 
provide any more adequate a demy- 
thologizing of the scriptural myth 
than was provided by classical meta- 
physics, it will have to depart from 
classical metaphysics at the very 
points which made an adequate inter- 
pretation of myth impossible. That 
there can be such an alternative 
metaphysics seems to me evident, 
and my own work just now is large- 
ly devoted to contributing toward its 
development and appropriation by 

Protestant theology. 

In short, my position is that the 
inadequacy of some attempts at 
demythologizing does not prove that 
every such attempt must fail. There 
are alternative approaches that 
deserve to be explored, and the task 
of exploring them is imperative. For 
the issue, in the last analysis, is not 
whether we shall demythologize, but 
only how. It is all well and good for 
theologians to agree with Reinhold 
Niebuhr that, while myths are never 
to be taken literally, they must never- 
theless always be taken seriously. But 
this by itself does little more than set 
the task of an adequate treatment of 
mythical assertions. If we are actually 
to take responsibility for such asser- 
tions, we must be able to make use 
of terms and categories in which, un- 
like those of myth itself, our under- 
standing of our selves and others in 
relation to God may be appropriately 
re-presented. The only alternative is 
to do the same thing badly, in terms 
and categories whose appropriateness 
we have not done the best we can to 

One final comment: If you have 
followed my argument, you will 
understand the rightness of Bult- 
mann's statement that demythologiz- 
ing does not mean the elimination 
of myth, but means, rather, its inter- 
pretation. The proponent of demyth- 
ologizing need not assume — and I 
should say, cannot assume — that 
myth does not have uses which even 



the most adequate interpretation in 
nonmythical terms cannot replace. 
Although, as I have insisted, the 
determinative use of all religious 
symbolism, and so also of myth, is 
cognitive, I have also stressed that 
religious language has other func- 
tions as well, and this seems pre- 
eminently true of myth. There is a 
certain richness in myth deriving 
from its noncognitive uses to express 
and to enjoin that makes any demyth- 
ologizing seem poor by comparison. 
Furthermore, myth may even fulfill 
an important cognitive function, so 
long as it is clearly recognized as 

myth and thereby demythologized or 
critically interpreted. In other words, 
I cannot agree with those who dis- 
miss demythologizing as simply an 
uncritical return to an earlier liberal 
theology. Properly understood, it is 
not simply a return to any previous 
stage of theological reflection, but the 
one way open to us which really leads 
into the future. My own conviction is 
that the more resolutely we set out 
on that way, demythologizing with 
uncompromising radicality, the more 
surely we shall accomplish the theo- 
logical task which is set for us in our 

Book Reviews and Notes 

The Jerusalem Bible. Garden City, 
+ 498 + maps. $16.95. 

N. Y.: Doubleday, 1966. Pp. xvi + 1547 

The evaluations of this publication 
have been extravagant in their praise. 
"Best one-volume annotated Bible in 
existence . . . first-class . . . impressive 
achievement . . . quite remarkable . . . 
monumental ... a landmark in bibli- 
cal scholarship . . . without parallel 
. . . welcome and useful" — such en- 
comiums this publication has re- 
ceived. Time gave it two columns. 
And probably these tributes are not 
an overestimation of its value. 

The background of this book is an 
interesting story of international bib- 
lical scholarship. Not far outside the 
Damascus Gate of Old Jerusalem the 
Dominican Order has a biblical 
school — L'Ecole Biblique — which has 
long been held in highest repute by 
biblical scholars of all persuasions. 
After many years of detailed labor 
this school produced for a French 
publisher a one-volimie, annotated 
translation which has been popularly 
referred to as La Bible de Jerusalem. 
The General Editor v/as Pere Roland 
de Vaux, O.P. 

That was 1956. The next year a 
group of English-speaking scholars 
with Father Alexander Jones as Gen- 
eral Editor began work to produce an 
English counterpart to the famous 
French publication. (Two of the col- 

laborators are of particular interest 
to us: Bishop John J. Wright, of the 
Diocese of Pittsburgh, and J. R. R. 
Tolkien, Oxford author of The Lord 
of the Rings trilogy.) The Second 
Vatican Council gave open impetus 
to biblical studies in the Roman 
Catholic Church, and the appearance 
of the new translation has been her- 
alded on all sides. (An open JB was 
in the Catholic worship center at an 
interfaith meeting of laymen recently 
attended by the reviewer. ) 

The English translation was made 
freshly from the Hebrew and Greek 
texts. The antecedent French transla- 
tion was followed only where dubi- 
ous decisions of text had to be made. 
Nevertheless, a spot check indicates 
that the English and French are quite 
close. The General Editor hopes thus 
to carry out aggiornamento, by 
"translating into the language we use 
today" (p. V ). 

Tlie book is more than a new 
translation; it is a study Bible of the 
highest quality. There are general 
and specific helps. Every principal 
division of the Bible has an introduc- 
tion, and so do some individual 
books. Then there are aids to the 
text on every page. Finally there are 
supplementary helps at the end in- 




eluding some fine maps. In these 
items the General Editor hopes to 
carry out approfondimento , by "pro- 
viding notes which are neither sec- 
tarian nor superficial" ( ibid. ) . 

The book is beautifully and stur- 
dily bound. It is a large, heavy volume 
— three inches thick and weighing 
almost five pounds — so a stout slip 
cover is a welcome addition. The for- 
mat of this huge tome is generous 
indeed. One has the impression im- 
mediately of the enormous work 
which has gone into its production. 
In every way it is a sumptuous and 
elegant volume, designed to attract 
and hold the attention of serious stti- 
dents, those who will be willing to 
devote considerable time to reading 

The text is arranged in single- 
column pages, with verse divisions 
indicated by a dot and marginal num- 
ber. Poetry is printed as verse. Peri- 
copes are separated by bold-face sec- 
tion headings which permit rapid 
orientation ("inscribe it on tablets to 
be easily read," as JB renders Hab. 
2:2!). The system of marginal refer- 
ences and cross-references is detailed 
and helpful, but careful note must be 
taken of the instruction explaining 
their use. The footnotes, gathered in 
double -columns at the bottom of the 
right-hand page in any opening of 
the volume (i.e., the recto), are the 
most important of the aids to under- 
standing Scripture. They include not 
only brief explanations of obscure 

phrases and the like, but extensive 
commentary on biblical themes, such 
as "remnant" on Isa. 4:3 and "mir- 
acles" on Mt. 8:3. The footnotes also 
give brief justification for the many 
textual decisions which have had to 
be made prior to beginning the work 
of actual translation, by citing the 
ancient versions or by admitting that 
difficult passages have been corrected 
by conjecture. 

The introductory articles to the 
OT books treat either units ( e.g., the 
Pentateuch as a whole) or individual 
writings (e.g., Psalms; Job — but 
there is also an article on the Wis- 
dom Books). Although easily read- 
able and directly relevant, some dis- 
crepancy appears between these arti- 
cles and the footnotes which accom- 
pany the text, not to speak of the 
translations themselves. The latter 
two exhibit a markedly "liberal" 
spirit and style, whereas the introduc- 
tions tend to be didactic and "con- 
servative." It is here that a few signs 
of denominational bias seem to ap- 
pear, and more often the strains of 
what may fairly be called Christian 
dogma arise to come to the aid of 
OT problems, as in the rather banal 
justification given for the Christian 
usage of the Levitical law. Again, 
contemporary treatment of the criti- 
cal and historical problems finds it- 
self cheek by jowl with a conserva- 
tism which manages to retain the 
appearance if not the substance of 
older views, as in the discussion of 



the sense in which the Pentateuch 
may be called "Mosaic." 

This remembrance of things past 
jars rather noticeably with the trans- 
lation, which is occasionally con- 
temporary to the point of challeng- 
ing the excellent guidelines of the 
General Editor, Fr. Alexander Jones, 
"The translator of the Bible into a 
vernacular may surely consider him- 
self free to remove the purely lin- 
guistic archaisms of that vernacular, 
but here his freedom ends. He may 
not, for example, substitute his own 
modern images for the old ones ..." 
(p. vi). On the whole, however, the 
translators have succeeded very well 
in conveying the strength and aus- 
terity of Hebrew prose. Compare, 
for example, their 'Akedah scene 
(Gen. 22) with the KJVl The dread 
^^^-conversives have yielded up 
their secrets to Fr. Jones and his 
cohorts (cf. also the excellent treat- 
ment of the story of the succession to 
David's throne, II Sam. 9-20, I Kgs. 
If). Moreover, at numerous places 
the translators have not been afraid 
to admit defeat, and have let the end 
of a line taper off in dots, with a 
footnote to explain that the narrative 
is broken or the text is irretrievably 

The Wisdom Books and the 
Psalms are undoubtedly the crown of 
the whole work, a delight to read and 
a stimulus to further study. Old, 
familiar passages are still vaguely 
familiar but no longer old; Ps. 23 is 

as fresh as "the meadows of green 
grass." Difficult passages such as Job 
28 or Prov. 8 are handled delicately 
but firmly. Esther at last gives some 
sense of the ironic humor of Jewish 
piety in the face of suffering, and 
Daniel seems less self-righteous than 

The prophetic books are perhaps 
the most difficult of all, and here it 
would seem that the translators have 
taken liberties with the text which 
recent studies have rendered unneces- 
sary. Nevertheless, at every point 
one must be sure to be grateful for 
the tremendous task which an entire- 
ly new translation, not a mere revi- 
sion, entails and which has been suc- 
cessfully achieved to a remarkable 

There are six NT introductory 
essays: Synoptic Gospels, Gospel and 
Letters of Saint John, Acts, Letters of 
Saint Paul, Letters to all Christians, 
and the Book of Revelation. In gen- 
eral, the critical conclusions follow 
those which have been held in mod- 
ern Catholicism; but the scholarly 
reasons for these positions are care- 
fully set forth. Thus, the priority of 
"Matthew Aramaic" is maintained; 
but it is allowed that the final form 
of Mark antedated the final form of 
Matthew. The argumentation takes 
adequate cognizance of contemporary 
Protestant scholarship even where 
conclusions are different. In criticiz- 
ing these views we have to observe 
that Protestant scholars — even on 



the same faculties — do not by any 
means agree on what Professor 
Markus Barth calls "the who-dunnits." 
So when JB attributes the Fourth 
Gospel and the Johannine Epistles to 
John the Apostle, some of us may 
hesitate while others will admit the 
possibility. In any case, the introduc- 
tion allows that "the corpus of Johan- 
nine traditions . . . may well have 
been edited and published later, 
probably by John's disciples" (cf. 
the review of Brown's Anchor com- 
mentary elsewhere in this issue). 
Many readers will undoubtedly be 
surprised to read that "most critics 
nowadays . . . reject the Petrine au- 
thorship" of Second Peter. Such can- 
dor augurs well for the future of 
ecumenical biblical study. 

In a publishing venture of this 
scope it would be little short of mi- 
raculous if there were no typograph- 
ical errors. No miracle appears: see, 
for example, OT p. 785, where "Holy 
Spirit" is misspelled; p. 1451, where 
words in Hos. 1:5 are reversed; and 
NT p. 152, where Jn. A\6 reads 
"Joseph's well." A less obvious prob- 
lem is the occasional reference in the 

OT notes to the Hebrew numeration 
of verses. 

In order to provide for more effi- 
cient use of the notes there is a some- 
what full "Index of Biblical Themes 
in the Footnotes." By checking the 
references there one can rather hand- 
ily discover what the editors have 
had to say on these themes; and the 
study of both biblical passages and 
notes would be a highly profitable 
exercise in biblical theology. 

Comparisons are inevitable even if 
odious. The Jerusalem Bible has 
some obvious advantages and a few 
disadvantages (for many, the price 
will be prohibitive). The inclusion 
of the so-called OT Apocrypha 
should be helpful. The combination 
of modernity with Catholic tradition 
is stimulating. One's own background 
and the peripheral purposes for 
which one procures a study Bible 
will tip the balances for some per- 
sons. In our judgment, however, for 
all who want to be abreast of Bible 
study today, this book is warmly 

— Jared J. Jackson and 
J. A. Wakher. 



Anderson, G. W. The History and Religion of Israel. London: Oxford Uni- 
versity Press, 1966. Pp. x + 210. $3.75. 

The New Clarendon Bible, which 
will be based on the RSV, is off to an 
auspicious start with the publication 
of this first volume. In a most pleas- 
ing and readable way Professor 
Anderson of Edinburgh has presented 
his readers with a reliable guide to 
the historical events of the biblical 
period from the patriarchs to the 
Maccabaean revolt, together with a 
running account of the religious 
struggles and developments of the 
people of Israel. It is a surprisingly 
successful condensation of multum in 
parvo, providing the beginner and 
those in need of review alike with a 
judicious over-view which is gen- 
erally conservative in tone, i.e., 
Anderson uses the Books of Chron- 
icles in his historical reconstructions, 
and generally places a high value on 
the historical worth of the biblical 
records. He handles the main ques- 
tions fairly, giving all sides and his 
own judgment, but he has not dis- 

tracted the reader with references to 
other secondary sources. The only 
footnotes are infrequent clarifications 
of knotty problems, and references to 
extrabiblical primary sources readily 
available in current popular books. 
The work would make a fine college 
textbook, alongside Kuhl's or some 
other introduction to the literature of 
the O. T. 

There are two maps and twenty- 
one black and white illustrations, to- 
gether with chronological tables, 
and Scripture and subject indexes. 
The book is clearly printed on glossy 
paper and furnished with a good 
binding. The Oxford Press has 
brought out a volume with the care 
for which it is justly famous (this 
reviewer found only one misprint, 
"Zepaniah," p. 124), a delight to the 
eyes, pleasing to hold, and a real 
bargain at the price. 

— Jared J. Jackson. 

Brown, Raymond E., S.S. The Gospel According to John (i-xii). The Anchor 
Bible. Vol. 29. Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1966. Pp. CXLVI + 538. 

One ventures a guess that, even its place as the leading commentary 
without seeing Fr. Brown's second on the Fourth Gospel. The author's 
volume, this work will quickly take massive knowledge of the literature 



and his painstaking, lucid handling 
of every detail of the book should 
provide the highest recommendation 
to most readers. And it must be 
added that this is also ecumenical 
biblical scholarship at its finest; Prot- 
estant readers will encounter no dog- 
matic stumbling-block. 

The publication is timely; for, as 
the first section of the Introduaion 
explains, Johannine studies have 
been developing vigorously. Long be- 
fore the discovery of the Dead Sea 
Scrolls there was an active debate 
over traditions behind John's Gospel 
and influences on his religious 
thought. These and other appropriate 
matters are considered at length in 
the Introduction (which is really a 
book in itself). 

On details of date, authorship, 
etc.. Brown gives a fair analysis of 
the principal possibilities and a care- 
ful explanation of his own decisions. 
Much of this is influenced by the 
theory of composition which he 
holds. He posits five stages ("mini- 
mal steps," for the full details are 
probably "far too complicated to re- 
construct"). Stage 1 was the exis- 
tence of independent, traditional 
material, probably traceable to the 
eyewitness of John the Disciple. 
Stage 2 sees the development "in 
Johannine patterns" by preaching 
and teaching, probably furthered by 
John's own disciples, perhaps focus- 
ing in one particular disciple. Stage 
3 is the organization into a distinct. 

consecutive Gospel by "the evange- 
list," probably in Greek. This in- 
volved selection, which means there 
was Johannine material left outside 
this "first edition." Stage 4 is tenta- 
tively suggested as a re-editing to 
meet problems that had arisen; and 
it is not always possible to distinguish 
this from Stage 5, which is a final 
redaction "by someone other than 
the evangelist." The redactor added 
surviving Johannine material includ- 
ing the Prologue and chapter xxi. It 
will readily be observed that many 
critical decisions will stem from or 
depend upon this five-stage composi- 
tion. The thorny problems of author- 
ship and date may be handily dealt 
with on such a foundation. There is 
room for the Disciple and the Pres- 
byter, and the obvious requirement 
of a late date for chapter xxi does 
not eliminate the possibility of ear- 
lier dates for more primitive portions 
of the text. 

At this point it might appear that 
the author is producing some sort of 
reductionism to make room for 
everyone's theories. One may suggest 
in answer (a) that even a cursory 
reading of Brown's material will 
show how thorough and how deci- 
sive he is, and (b) that it is preju- 
dicial to assume that analyses which 
make place for mediating views are 
intrinsically wrong. 

Other introductory matters are 
dealt with at some length. "Crucial 
questions in Johannine theology" 



are considered: ecclesiology, sacra- 
mentalism, eschatology, wisdom mo- 
tifs. Aramaic sources, if they exist 
for this Gospel, are at the oral period 
before Stage 1. There is some justifi- 
cation for feeling a poetic format in 
Johannine discourses, and John has 
other distinctive characteristics of 
style. In snort, the Introduction in 
itself is an extremely valuable con- 
tribution to Johannine studies. 

The commentary proper follows 
the general pattern of this series: 
there is a new translation, notes on 
the text, and comment, general and 
detailed. Except for the Prologue 
(i:l-18) and the Epilogue (xxi), 
the Gospel is in two parts. "The 
Book of Signs" extends through 
chapter xii and is treated in this 
present volume. "The Book of Glory" 
will appear in Volume 30 along with 
commentaries on the Johannine Epis- 
tles. Full consideration is given to 
theories of displacements and re- 
arrangements of the gospel materials, 
but Brown is sceptical of these; he 
thinks, indeed, that John's overall 
purpose (as stated, for example, in 
xx:30f) obviates the necessity for 
S'.xh ventures. 

A translation should not be judged 
hastily, for one must live with it and 
use it under varying circumstances to 
appreciate its qualities. One may 
sense at once, however, that Brown's 
translation is fresh and idiomatic. In 
comparison with the same chap- 
ters in the Jerusalem Bible, these 

seem to read somewhat smoother and 
to please the American ear more — 
though the ]B is also very well done. 
Brown has perhaps made more 
exegetical decisions (e.g., "Shechem" 
for "Sychar" in iv:5); but these are 
justified in notes. 

The Notes and Comments are full 
and useful; scholar and preacher will 
each find a wealth of resources. A 
good example in. this volume is the 
Feeding of the Five Thousand. There 
is an extended comparison wiuh the 
Synoptic records. The author's own 
conclusion is for an independent 
tradition, but the materials are so 
fairly presented that the reader can 
form his own judgment. And the 
data is up-to-the-minute; e.g., the 
complicated problem of the name of 
the pool in v:2 is decided with refer- 
ence to Milik's analysis of the Qum- 
ran copper scroll. 

No Greek text is set forth, but 
this proves to be no important weak- 
ness. Where it is necessary, Greek 
words are transliterated; and Brown 
generally avoids becoming so tech- 
nical as to be obscure to the modestly- 
trained ti^QgQte. In addition to the 
verse-by-verse treatment of key 
words and phrases, there are lielpful 
appendixes which contain word 
studies as well as essays. The treat- 
ment is wise and well-balanced. In 
Appendix 1(1) the materials on 
agapan and philein are surveyed 
from Trench to Bernard, Bultmann, 
and Barrett. The conclusion is similar 



to the author's criticism of a CBQ 
article on "eat" and "drink" in vi:53: 
"The differentiation seems over- 

Special mention should be given to 
the Bibliographies. There are not 
only general lists of literature, but 
nearly every section of the text is 
given its own bibliographical treat- 
ment. A particular source of wealth 
is the almost fantastic coverage of 
journal articles. These are of special 
value to the scholarly researcher be- 
cause they include Catholic studies 
and non-English writers. 

With such a book one is tempted 
to be over-enthusiastic. The perfect 
commentary has not, of course, been 
written; and this is by no means a 
candidate for the honor. Every care- 
ful reader will surely find some places 
at which he parts company with Fr. 
Brown. Some v/ill probably find diffi- 
culty with his Eucharistic interpreta- 

tion in chapter vi. Some will not like 
his treatment of the raising of Laza- 
rus because he has said too little — 
others, perhaps, because he has said 
too much. But honest critics will 
certainly praise the whole. 

The reviewer who is aware of the 
other volumes in the Anchor Bible 
will raise a fundamental question as 
to identity in the series. Only one 
other volume, of course, has been 
published in the NT series; but it is 
a far piece from this present one — 
no one is likely to suggest that the 
Reicke work is nearly as important 
as Brown's. Though the spans of 
divergence in the OT series are not 
in e\ery instance as great, the ques- 
tion is still there. One can hear the 
c mmentators who are still writing 
in the series grimly asking which 
volume is now the standard of 

Goetschius, E. V. N. The Language of the New Testament. New York: Scrib- 
ner's, 1965. Pp. xvii + 349. $5.95. Workbook. Pp. 276. $2.95. 

In this time of constant quandary 
about the place of biblical languages 
in theological curricula, those who 
decide for teaching Greek have 
sought various ways to sugar the 
medicine so it will go down easily. 
Professor Goetschius of Episcopal 
Theological School, Cambridge, Mas- 
sachusetts, offers this study text and 

its accompanying workbook as a 
means of tailoring a workable knowl- 
edge of New Testament Greek to the 
needs of the ill-prepared or indiffer- 
ently motivated student. His avowed 
"angle" is a use of miodern linguistic 

The material is presented in fifty 
carefully structured lessons with ac- 



companying workbook exercises. Dr. 
Goetschius intends that this material 
is "to be used in a one-semester 
course ( three hours a week . . . ) " — 
or some appropriate modification of 
this plan. 

The material is thoroughly pre- 
sented. Although the dust jacket pro- 
fesses that non-traditional adaptation 
is a feature, there is a plethora of 
detail — including, for example, near- 
ly complete paradigms of ^i-verbs 
and the optative. Most of the ex- 
amples are drawn from the New 
Testament text, and these are help- 
fully translated (a feature that has 
long recommended Nunn's Syntax). 
The matter of accents is wisely rele- 
gated to an Appendix. Explanations 
are lucid, and the typography of the 
book is beautiful. 

Early chapters carefully present 
the basic grammar on the basis of an 
elementary linguistic analysis. This 
is acclaimed as the best available way 
to analyze sentence structure, but the 
author reverts to more traditional 
explanations less than half way 
through, preserving only certain ele- 
ments of analytical vocabulary, espe- 
cially "morpheme." 

The reviewer admires the book 
but not for the purpose the author 
intends. One might suggest that Pro- 
fessor Goetschius knows his Greek 
extremely well but perhaps does not 
as well understand the students we 
have to teach. In Pittsburgh Seminary 
the contents of this book would have 

to be covered at an average of more 
than ten chapter-sections per class 
session plus appropriate exercises. 
While some sections are only one 
sentence long, others contain exten- 
sive synopses of forms, some difficult 
and of rare occurrence. 

There is an expressed avoidance of 
vocabulary — though it may be ques- 
tioned how forms are to be mastered 
apart from vocabulary. With all due 
respect to linguistic analysis, one 
must remember that language is 
naturally learned by an early mastery 
of the most useful words, and ele- 
mentary usage revolves around these 

The reviewer would also question 
whether students will develop any 
enthusiasm for New Testament 
Greek by analyzing sentence struc- 
ture and learning paradigms, even 
when these are illustrated by sen- 
tences from the New Testament. It 
is the experience of Pittsburgh Semi- 
nary instructors that most students 
quickly develop an interest in the 
language if they are introduced al- 
most at once to the New Testament 
text. If the student learns to read the 
text for himself, he will then want to 
know how others have interpreted 
that text; and he can usually learn the 
necessary, fundamental, grammatical 
details in conjunction with his read- 
ing. This is probably a diametrically 
different approach from that of Dr. 
Goetschius; the reviewer suggests 
that a higher level of biblical compe- 



tence can be achieved than that 
which this book aims to produce, and 
k may be done with less student 

The difference in these two ap- 
proaches may also be observed from 
the order in which certain material is 
introduced. This books waits until 
Chapter 45 to introduce tva-clauses, 
the perfect comes in 47, and the 
indefinite rt?, n is in 48. This is cer- 
tainly based on a logical or theoret- 
ical order of presentation, for from 
the practical standpoint of reading 
the New Testament text these forms 
will be met almost at once and can 

probably be learned as easily when 
there is a contextual need for such 

For one who is already "hooked" 
on the Greek New Testament this 
book may be heartily recommended 
for broadening and deepening ac- 
quaintance with the grammar and 
syntax requisite for advancing study. 
The reviewer confesses to having 
learned from this book. 

The list of errata supplied is sur- 
prisingly small for the first edition 
of such a complicated publication. 

— James Arthur Walt her. 

Wolf, Betty Hartman. Journey Through the Holy l^nd. Garden City, N. Y. 
Doubleday, 1967. Pp. xiv + 267. $4.95. 

This is the kind of book every 
traveler wishes he or she could write. 
It has a good balance of sound his- 
torical facts, personal experiences, 
and tourists' aids. It is informative, 
witty, and unusually readable. Many 
people travel, and many people write 
about their travels, but few have 
Mrs. Wolf's ability to say so much 
about so many things in an under- 
standable, interesting, even exciting 
way. I am not being overenthusiastic: 
this book is worth its reading-hours! 

The Holy Land has never been 
more lovingly translated into words. 

Mrs. Wolf starts with the mention of 
the city of Jerusalem in the Book of 
Genesis and then takes you journey- 
ing with her as she visits places and 
unfolds the story of people and cir- 
cumstances that have made this land 
holy to three religions. 

In the chapter 'Tor Those Who 
Have Eyes ..." she likens the tourist 
to Ezekiel in his visionary visit to the 
valley of dry bones. The Lord had to 
prod Ezekiel to speak with the bones 
before any "action" took place. Thus, 
"the Holy Land does not yield her 
secrets to every peripatetic curiosity 



seeker. She sits in reserve, warming 
to you only as you warm to her." 
Mrs. Wolf has done her talented best 
to bring the Holy Land to you — 
only a visit of your own could make 
it more real. 

(Tlie author's husband, the Rev- 

erend Dr. C. Umhau Wolf, was 
Guest Professor of Old Testament at 
this seminary in 1964-65, and 
preached at the Fall Communion, 

— Anna Marie Walther. 

Rogers, Jack Bartlett. Scripture in the Westminster Confession. A Problem 
of Historical Interpretation for American Presbyterianism. Grand Rapids: 
Eerdmans, 1967. Pp. 475. $6.75. 

For a veteran historian Scripture 
in the Westminster Confession would 
be a distinguished achievement. As a 
doctor's thesis, it is superb. In sheer 
bulk it is impressive; in its exten- 
siveness of primary and secondary 
research it is indispensable; and its 
cogency of articulation makes it a 
mature work, indeed. 

Precisely because we were and are 
so thoroughly entranced by Dr. 
Rogers's performance, our disap- 
pointment with the central thesis was 
nothing less than bitter. Before, with 
heavy heart, we take up the painful 
but necessary task of refutation, let 
us summarize. Put into one long and 
involved sentence this masterful, his- 
torical study reduces to this: the doc- 
trine of Scripture found in the WCF 
is essentially that of Karl Barth; B. 
B. Warfield, on the other hand, erred 
fundamentally in his interpretation 

while Dowey, Hendry, and other 
Neo-reformed interpreters went 
astray because of Warfield, whom 
they naively thought was right in his 
interpretation; thus, they fail prec- 
cisely because they were not true to 
their own Barthian selves in the in- 
terpretation of Westminster. 

Professor Rogers anticipates mak- 
ing his friends to the right and to 
the left unhappy because he does not 
vindicate either. What he has done, 
however, is to deal old Princeton 
a belly blow and tap the new 
Princeton on the wrist. He rejects 
Warfield for being Warfield and 
chides Dowey with not being Dowey. 
We have no objection to the legi- 
timacy and necessity of his making 
judgments. It is done with compe- 
tence, courtesy and sincerity, how- 
ever wrong it may be. 

Tlie motif above is stated a dozen 



times through the volume, though 
Barth's name is not mentioned much 
before the final pages. It seems super- 
fluous to take space for citation but 
the reader may rightfully feel that if 
a serious criticism is to be made, the 
author's own words should first be 
presented. The following extensive 
quotation suggests the essential 
thrust of the whole manuscript and 
the relevance of the research to mod- 
ern American Presbyterianism. 

Contemporar/ Xeo-E^eformation theo- 
logians who originally drafted the pro- 
posed "Confession of 196"" aaed 
rightly in restoring the emphases on 
the witness of the Holy Spirit and on 
Jesus Christ the as being the 
central content of Scripture. These em- 
phases and their corollaries, the hu- 
manity of the words of Scripture and 
the presence of the Word of God in 
preaching, had been underemphasized 
in the Princeton Theology and Amer- 
ican Presbyterian orthodoxy in the late 
nineteenth and early twentieth cen- 
turies. Unforronately, the Princeton 
Theology was closely identified with 
the Westminster Confession. Thus 
these emphases in the Confession of 
Faith were not heard in recent times 
since the Westminster Divines them- 
selves were not studied anew. Neo- 
Reformation theologians acknowledge 
a debt to Karl Barth who led the re- 
rirn to these Reformation insights. . . . 
In the process of restoring Reformation 
emphases lost to the Church during 
several decades, the original authors of 
the proposed "Confession of 196'^" 
omitted an equally valuable Reforma- 
tion insight — that Scripture is the 
Word of God 

[Reviewer's note: This omission 
these drafters of the original Confes- 

sion of 1967 made on their own and 
not as a reaction against the WCF. 
Still, it is odd that they did so. since 
as theologians they seem to agree 
with Barth's doctrine that Christ the 
IJ^or/^ o/ God encounters men 
through the words of God. The re- 
viewer (and possibly Dr. Rogers) is 
inclined to think that we have here 
an extreme reaction against Warfield 
rather than an intended deviation 
from Barth. This is what was meant 
above by our saying that the Neo- 
reformed are not here true to their 
own Barthian selves. These words of 
ours will bring forth a good deal of 
rhubarb, of course, in the shape of 
disclaimers that since Barth does not 
consider himself a Barthian how can 
we be such, etc., etc.} 

Fortunately, the United Presbyterian 
Church in the U.S.A. corrected the re- 
action present in the first draft of the 
proposed "Confession of 196"". The 
General Assembly in May, 1966, ap- 
proved a re%'ised version which unites 
the saving content of Scripture with 
the: tezt of Scripture as the one Word 
of God. The text now reads: "The one 
sufficient revehxion of God is Jesus 
Christ, the Word of God incarnate, to 
whom the Holy Spirit bears unique and 
authoritative witness through the Holy 
Scriptures, which are received and 
obeyed as the word of God written," 
<Pp. 453, 45ly 

From this one can see Rogers' view 
of the theological de^-elopment from 
the Reformation to the present: 

1. The Reformation joined Christ 


and the dynamic, written Word 
inseparably ( eschewing natural 

2. The Westminster Divines con- 
tinued this Reformation tradi- 

3. Old Princeton (in the name of 
Westminster) separated what the 
Reformation and Westminster 
had joined together, introducing 
arguments for general and special 

4. The Old Princeton position thus 
interpreted erroneously both the 
Reformation and Westminster. 

5. Neo-reformed theologians cor- 
rectly interpret the Reformation 
but fail to see that Westminster 
is a genuine Reformation docu- 
ment because, of all things, they 
accept Warfield's view of the 
Confession (p. 40). 

What, according to Rogers, were 
the basal errors of Old Princeton? It 
wrongly supposed that the West- 
minster Divines were Aristotelian 
scholastics, advocates of natural the- 
ology and defenders of Inerrancy 
who elevated the unaided reason at 
the expense of the Holy Spirit; while, 
according to our author, they were 
Augustinian Ramists who affirmed 
divine revelation through a substan- 
tially inspired Bible which they ac- 
cepted as such without argument on 
the internal testimony of the Spirit 
alone (passim). 

What, according to the reviewer, 


is the basal defea not of Warfield 
but of Rogers? It is not insufficient 
knowledge; k is not want of research; 
it is not lack of integrity; it \s not 
ill-will; it is not prejudice; it is not 
historical incompetence; it is a fail- 
ure in logical acumen. It is the prev- 
alence of this fault that vitiates a 
masterpiece of research in the vital 
area of the conclusions drawn from 
the research. We shall submit some 
typical examples. 

There is a logical confusion con- 
cerning knowledge. In Puritan the- 
ology one distinguishes between 
natural or speculative knowledge and 
saving knowledge. Dr. Rogers is 
fully aware of this distinction (for 
example, on pp. 354-356); but for- 
getting it, on occasions, he identifies 
what the Westminster Divines kept 
separate and thereby introduces con- 
fusion. For example, notice the fol- 
lowing typical non sequitur: "The 
Westminster Divines . . . were on 
their guard against the Socinians and 
others who contended that natural 
reason could understand the content 
of Scripture without the illumination 
of the Spirit. . . . Samuel Rutherford 
asserts that there is no saving knowl- 
edge apart from the illumination of 
the Spirit" (p. 356, italics ours). 
But Rogers' illustration does not il- 
lustrate. Rutherford's assertion is that 
there is no saving knowledge apart 
from illumination. But the assertion 
is supposed to show how the West- 
minster Divines guarded against the 



Socinian teaching that natural reason 
could understand Scripture without 
illumination. Rutherford is saying 
that natural reason cannot savingly 
understand. He is not saying that 
natural reason cannot understa^id. 

Again, Rogers tries to cite Edward 
Reynolds in support of his own fide- 
ism, but note how he betrays himself. 
Interpreting Reynolds, Rogers writes: 
""Because only the spiritual way is 
saving knowledge, those who know 
God's judgments only by sense 'are 
said, in the Scriptures . . . not to 
know any of this . . . '" (p. 248). 
Reynolds says that men know God's 
judgment by sense. This is knoivledge 
though it is not what the Bible calls 
"knowledge." The Bible, according to 
Reynolds, uses this term of saving 
knowledge. These and many other 
instances which could be given show 
that Dr. Rogers errs in maintaining 
that the Westminster Divines did not 
teach the unregenerate man's capacit}' 
to grasp revelation non-savingly. That 
is the point at issue. Rogers knows 
very well that Warfield never sup- 
posed that the Westminster Divines 
believed the unregenerate could have 
a saving knowledge of Scripture and 

Nowhere is the breakdown in 
logical clarity more palpable than on 
the Inerrancy issue. The Confession's 
affirming the '"infallible truth" of the 
Word of God does not, according to 
Rogers, involve Inerrancy. "Cer- 
tainly," he writes, "the Westminster 

Divines believed, and the Confession 
states, that the Bible is true and in- 
fallible. But to equate these terms 
with the modern concept of in- 
errancy is to impose upon the West- 
minster Confession criteria of proof 
and apologetic implications which 
had no place in their thinking" (p. 
307). Here the problem with our 
author is more in the realm of candor 
than mere logic. Can the unqualified 
statement of the Bible's "'infallible 
truth and divine authority" (chap. 
1,5) leave room for error? There is 
no restriction to "faith and morals" 
or any other restriction in the text or 
in the writings of the Westminster 
theologians. All Dr. Rogers could 
produce from their extra-Confessional 
writings was evidence that all Scrip- 
ture was not viewed as of the same 
value but not any indication of error 
at any point. In fact, he gives many 
statements from the Divines them- 
selves indicating either an inerrancy 
doctrine or a mentality compatible 
with it. In this area, Dr. Rogers even 
stoops to the "red herring" proce- 
dure. What does ""modern concept" 
and "apologetic implications" have 
to do with whether Westminster im- 
plied or did not imply that the Scrip- 
tures are inerrant? Even his New 
Princeton mentors cannot bring 
themselves to agree with him though 
their sad alternative is to agree with 
B. B. Warfield. 

Throughout the volume our author 
likes to say that the Westminster 



Bible is not a "compendium of in- 
formation" but bears witnsss to salva- 
tion in Christ (pp. 369, 379, 402, 
406, 417) though he is aware that 
many of the Divines held precisely 
that. How then does he reach his 
conclusion? By another non sequitur. 
Because of the fact that the Word 
of God bears witness to Christ and 
his salvation it is wrongly assumed 
that it does not therefore provide an 
inspired compendium of informa- 
tion. This is a double logical blunder. 
First, what is to prevent the Word of 
God from testifying to Christ's salva- 
tion and to other information? Sec- 
ond, why may not this "compendium" 
be integral even to the revelation of 
Christ's salvation? 

Lastly, Dr. Rogers thinks that 
Westminster used the internal testi- 
mony of the Holy Spirit in lieu of 
rational proofs for inspiration while 
Hodge and Warfield used rational 
proofs in lieu of the internal testi- 
mony of the Holy Spirit. This in- 
credible conclusion is reached by the 
simple observation that the WCF 
referred to the Holy Spirit as alone 
persz/ading (pp. 450, 451) while 
Princeton argued that evidences 
proved. Evidences may prove while 
one convinced against his will may 
remain of the same opinion still (re- 
futed but not persuaded ) . That proof 
by argument and persuasion by the 
Spirit are mutually exclusive is the 
saddest non sequitur of all. That the 
Westminster Confession of Faith 

does not make this logical lapse any 
more than Warfield does is explicitly 
apparent in its famous statement. 

We may be moved and induced by the 
testimony of the church to an high 
and reverent esteem for the Holy Scrip- 
ture; and the heavenhness of the mat- 
ter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the 
majesty of the style, the consent of all 
the parts, the scope of the whole 
(which is to give all glory to God), 
the full discovery it makes of the only 
way of man's salvation, the many other 
incomparable excellencies, and the en- 
tire perfection thereof, are arguments 
whereby it doth abundantly evidence 
itself to be the ivord of God; yet, not- 
withstanding, our full persuasion and 
assurance of the infallible truth and 
divine authority thereof, is from the 
inward work of the Holy Spirit, bear- 
ing witness by and with the word in 
our hearts. [Italics by the reviewer.] 

Eerdmans is to be congratulated 
on this publication, although it has 
too many errata noted and not noted 
and lacks a much needed index. The 
publisher does not stand to make 
much profit on a prestige volume of 
this sort. There is understandable 
reluctance to venture, therefore. Our 
young scholars, however, become dis- 
couraged by the difficulty of securing 
recognized publishers for worthy 
theses which frequently represent 
indispensable monographs in needy 
fields. Dr. Rogers' work certainly 
demanded publication in the interests 
of scholarship. At the same time, the 
general reader will find this solid 
book anything but ponderous. 

— John H. Gerstner. 



Reist, Benjamin A. Toward a Theology of Involvement. The Thought of Ernst 
Troeltsch. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1966. Pp. 264. $6.00. 

Professor Reist, of San Francisco 
Theological Seminary, here provides 
virtually the only full length exposi- 
tion of Troeltsch's thought in the 
English language. Having the advan- 
tage of being able to look back on 
the historical impact of Troeltsch's 
work, as well as its relation to key 
figures such as Weber and Dilthey, 
it surpasses previous English lan- 
guage studies of Troeltsch in both 
depth and relevance to the present 
situation of Protestantism. 

Readers will find here careful, 
but not pedantic, expositions of 
Troeltsch's major works. The Social 
Teachings of the Christian Churches 
and Groups, and Historicism and Its 
Problems (Der Historismus und seine 
Probleme — as yet untranslated), and 
also of some of his key essays. The 
sociological, philosophical, and theo- 
logical aspects of Troeltsch's thought 
are all examined, and their function 
within Troeltsch's basic intellectual 
project is explained. 

The all-pervasive problem which 
hounded Troeltsch, which neither he 
nor any other modern theologian 
solved (according to Reist), is the 
problem of historical relativism. 
Better, it is the problem of trying to 
affirm any absolute values in his- 
torical events, which are, by defini- 
tion, events conditioned by previous 
history. Events in history always arise 

from some definite relations with 
past events, and the same holds for 
the "values" affirmed in an event. 
Moreover, every such value is articu- 
lated in a form uniquely related to 
its social context, and gains its rele- 
vance for human life precisely from 
its relationship to that context. 
Precisely those individual characteris- 
tics that giYQ relevance to som.e value 
in its original social context dis- 
qualify it for having relevance in 
another. "Time, like an ever-rolling 
stream, bears all its sons away." 
Hence, there is no permanent, endur- 
ing "essence" of any historically 
rooted value. In theological terms, 
there is no final revelation of God in 
any historical event, not even in 
Jesus. An abstract formulation of the 
distinctive characteristics of "Chris- 
tianity" can be given, but that will 
not indicate in "sociological, realistic, 
and ethical" terms the peculiar rele- 
vance of "the Christian idea" of God 
and redemption to the present his- 
torical situation. If no such indica- 
tion is given, however, that which 
makes Christianity a creative, his- 
torical force will be missed; and 
Christianity itself will be doomed to 

The significance of Troeltsch's 
category of "compromise," which is 
the focal point of Reist's analysis, 
has to be understood against this 



background. Troeltsch read the his- 
tory of the church as a series of com- 
promises between the Gospel and the 
changing historical-social settings. By 
"compromise," Troeltsch did not 
mean a simple defection from the 
original Gospel, but a creative syn- 
thesis between its ethical and reli- 
gious ideals and the new social and 
cultural conditions within which 
those who adhered to these ideals 
would have to live and act. 

Troeltsch's "church," "sect," and 
"mystical" types of Christian group, 
designate what he regarded as the 
three chief ways in which Christians 
have responded to the dilemma of 
compromise or atrophy. The church 
type — e.g., medieval Catholicism, 
Calvinism, Lutheranism — accepts the 
necessity of compromise and at- 
tempts an all-embracing synthesis of 
the Gospel and culture. The mystical 
type turns away from the objective 
forms by means of which the church 
maintains its identity as well as its 
relationship to the world. It with- 
draws from the problem of effecting 
the synthesis with culture the church 
type seeks, and seeks instead a purely 
inner religious experience. The sect 
type is not as individualistic as the 
mystical type, and does seek to form 
a holy community. It differs from the 
church in trying to remain com- 
pletely separate from "the world," 
shunning the sorts of means and in- 
stitutions by which secular forms of 
human community are maintained. 

As soon as the sect shows some con- 
cern for perpetuating itself, however, 
it inevitably transmutes itself into 
the church type. 

Troeltsch's analysis seems to lead 
to the conclusion that only the church 
type of Christian group is able to 
articulate the Gospel in a way that 
allows it to be a culture- integrating, 
history-making force. Troeltsch knew 
that the older church types had 
ceased to function that way in mod- 
ern societies with their scientific, hu- 
manistic cultures. But he had no 
answer to the problem he so pains- 
takingly outlined. "All that is clear," 
he wrote, "is that [Christianity] 
stands in a critical hour of its devel- 
opment and that here very basic and 
daring innovations are necessary, 
which go beyond all hitherto existing 

In the last chapter of the book, 
Reist attempts to provide some help 
in plotting the course for the needed 
innovations. Ebeling is attacked for 
trying to evade the problem of a 
"new compromise," and settling for 
yet another purely dogmatic version 
of "the essence of Christianity." Paul 
Lehmann's ethics is singled out as the 
most promising current effort to ef- 
fect the new creative compromise 
Troeltsch called for. Nevertheless, 
only if Lehmann can show in his 
promised second volume that his 
concept of the humanizing aaion of 
God (in Jesus Christ, and through 
the koinonia inside and outside the 



Christian churches) does in fact call 
for specific kinds of behavior and 
social organization which are new 
but really possible within urban, tech- 
nological society, will the claim that 
he offers a solution to Troeltsch's 
problem be credible. 

Where does this leave us? It leaves 
us with Troeltsch's unsolved problem 
still on our hands, and little more to 

guide us toward a solution than the 
kind of double imperative we hear 
from Gabriel Vahanian: be involved 
in the struggle for viable forms of 
human society and cultural expres- 
sion, and keep yourselves from idols. 
As W. H. Auden said over a decade 
ago: "Read The New Yorker, trust 
in God, and take short views." 

— George H. Kehm. 

Richardson, Alan. Religion in Contemporary Debate. Philadelphia: West- 
minster, 1966. Pp. 120 + index of names. $2.75. 

Dr. Richardson has brought out a 
slim volume which, beginning with 
a definition of the word "religion," 
moves on to discuss the Christian 
religion over against secularism, reli- 
gious atheism, and the "death of 
God" notion. Two excellent small 
chapters are included on demytholog- 
ization and the so-called "New Her- 
meneutic" (both highly critical), 
the latter of which includes a critique 
of the philosophical presuppositions 
of Heidegger. At times, Richardson 
seems to betray an arrogance over 
against the continental theologians 
which is hardly warranted. The two 
opening chapters "Is religion a good 
thing?" and "Religion as the Aboli- 
tion of the Secular" are good. In the 
midst of all this contemporary de- 
bate, however, one wonders if we are 

not sometimes simply quibbling over 
semantic confusion. At any rate, 
"religion" for Richardson is a system 
or way of life which (a) forms the 
human response to the wretchedness 
of the human condition, and ( b ) com- 
bines metaphysical notions expressed 
in formal propositions with an indi- 
vidualistic piety bearing no relation 
to daily life. He suggests we trans- 
late Bonhoeffer's religions los as "un- 
pietistic" or "unchurchy," to avoid 
confusion. On the other hand is (of 
course) Christianity which begins 
with the biblical attack upon "reli- 
gion" and continues as the proclama- 
tion that "the encounter between 
God and man occurs as the result of 
the divine initiative." Somewhere 
you've read all this before, but that 
does not mean the book would not 



be welcome on your shelves. Richard- 
son has a clear, crisp writing style 
coupled with the ability to cut 
through problems to the central issue. 
It is this ability more than the much- 

written-about subject material which 
is the salvation of the book. It would 
be an excellent addition for the pas- 
tor who lacks the time to dig through 
all the material. 

Hughes, P. E., ed. Creative Minds in Contemporary Theology. Grand Rapids: 
Eerdmans, 1966. Pp. 482 + index of proper names. 16.95. 

With the passing years we have 
come to expect good things from 
Eerdmans. This will be considered 
one of the best. There are fourteen 
chapters. The first is on the creative 
task in theology, in which the editor 
characterizes the creative theologian 
as one who "brings from his store 
both old and new." The "old" is the 
authority of Scripture, the fact of sin, 
the centrality of Christ as Redeemer, 
and the fact that man is endov/ed 
with the ability to realize his own 
creative potentialities by God. The 
thirteen theologians and their intro- 
ducers are: Karl Barth, by G. W. 
Bromiley; G. C. Berkouwer, by Lewis 
B. Smedes; Emil Brunner, by Paul 
G. Schrotenboer; Rudolf Bultmann, 
by Robert D. Knudsen; Oscar Cull- 
mann, by David H. Wallace; James 
Denney, by I. Howard Marshall; C. 
H. Dodd, by F. F. Bruce; Herman 
Dooyeweerd, by William Young; P. 
T. Forsyth, by Samuel J. Mikolaski; 
Charles Gore, by Colin Brown; Rein- 

hold Niebuhr, by Theodore Min- 
nema; Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, by 
J. J. Duyvene de Wit; and Paul Til- 
lich, by Kenneth Hamilton. In re- 
spect to fairness and scope of presen- 
tation, the treatments of Brunner, 
Denney, Forsyth, and Tillich seem 
best, to the reviewer. The essayists 
are responsible writers overall, and 
none of them is so over-awed by his 
subject as to fail of criticism. Each 
essay contains: a) a biographical 
sketch; b) an exposition of the theo- 
logian's work; c) a critique; and d) 
a bibliography. Reinhold Niebuhr is 
listed as a Lutheran which, for his- 
torical reasons, is not an accurate 
classification. It is easy to criticize 
what an anthology lacks, but it does 
seem strange that there is not one 
Old Testament theologian repre- 
sented. A second volume is projected 
in the introduction. We hope it will 
have the same generally high quality 
as the first, which we wholeheartedly 



Freemantle, Anne. The Protestant Mystics. New York: Mentor Book, 1964. 
Pp. 312. 95^. 

Mrs. Freemantle, weU-known for 
The Age of Belief and established as 
an anthologist by The Papal Encycli- 
cals, has compiled an interesting 
selection of writings, both prose and 
poetry, which she calls simply The 
Protestant Mystics. The criteria for 
seleaion were simple: the author 
must be (in some vague way) a 
Protestant Christian; the seleaions 
must bespeak a revelation or a 
"flight of the alone to the Alone," 
and not be strictly meditative. For 
this latter reason, Evelyn Underbill, 
whom we should expect in any treat- 
ment of Protestant mysticism, is miss- 
ing. The book brings back forgotten 
figures; Jakob Boehme, for example, 
is included. Most of the expected 
visionaries are here: Donne, Blake, 
Bunyan, Fox, Goethe, Kierkegaard, 
etc. There are 67 writers, ranging 
from Martin Luther to C. S. Lewis. 
Each of these visionaries, theologians, 

and poets gives us a record of his 
individual experiences which re- 
sulted in a unique understanding of 
the wholeness of God and his com- 
munion with God. 

The book is enhanced by a 25- 
page introduction by W. H. Auden, in 
which the venerable poet explains the 
situation in which mysticism arises, 
and the four distinct kinds of mysti- 
cal experience (the vision of Dame 
Kind, the vision of Eros, the vision 
of Agape, the vision of God). In a 
lucid way, Auden shows us how the 
"protestant principle" and the "cath- 
olic substance" (to use Tillich's 
terms) have combined in every age 
to produce mystical thinkers. 

The book is a strong antidote for 
those who swallow W. T. Stayce's 
m.axim that "there are no Protestant 

— lay C. Rochelle. 

Peerman, Dean (ed.). Frontline Theology. Richmond: John Knox Press, 
1967. Pp. 170. $4.50. 

We are indebted to the Christian 
Century magazine for asking twenty 
of today's most prominent theologi- 
ans to write on the subject "How I 

Am Making Up My Mind." The 
magazine's editor Dean Peerman 
asked Associate Editor Martin Marty 
to write an introduction entitled 



"American Protestant Theology To- 
day," added the twenty previously 
published articles, and published the 
whole of it in a hard-back appro- 
priately entitled Frontline Theology. 

Most, if not all, of the writers are 
long on articulating the problem and 
short on providing solutions; but 
then this is a good summary of the 
state of American theology today. If 
significant answers can come only to 
those who are willing to ask signifi- 
cant questions, the theological world 
can look forward to some very excit- 
ing days. 

The brave pastor might use this 
as the basis for an adult discussion 
group on contemporary theology, but 
he must be prepared to do his home- 

work. This book alone isn't nearly 
enough, nor was it meant to be. The 
preacher who reads this book will 
find himself wrestling with questions 
that thoughtful Christians, laymen 
and clergy, ought to be asking. 

Among the twenty theologians 
who contribute to this book are those 
that you would expect to find: Cox, 
Altizer, Hamilton, Pelikan, Brown, 
Gilkey, ttc. While many points of 
view are represented, the conserva- 
tive pastor will find few that speak 
his language. 

Whether or not "God-talk" is 
necessary or even possible, there is 
much of it in this little book, and 
much of it is worth reading. 

Valentine, Foy. The Cross in the Market Place. Waco, Texas: Word Books, 
1967. Pp. 122. $3.50. 

This book is breezily written by a 
Southern Baptist who feels that the 
church should "get involved" in the 
social issues of its day. It may be 
rather inflammatory stuff for the 
Christian with a late 19th-century 

theology, and I suppose there are a 
lot of such persons around, but for 
any who have done much reading in 
the last few years it is rather light 
weight and passe. 

—Charles C. W. Idler. 

The following books describe usefully the action of the Church. All 
appeared in 1966 except as otherwise noted. 

There is ecumenical action. Vol- 
umes 5 and 6 of the excellent "Ecu- 

menical Studies in History" pub- 
lished by John Knox Press report on 



Ecumenical Dialogue in Europe and 
The Significance of South India. 
Prentice-Hall offers the first compre- 
hensive source book of primary 
documents on "modem ecumenism": 
Documents of Dialogue, edited by 
Hiley Ward. 

There is fresh Roman Catholic 
thinking. Familiar Catholic prophets 
speak in Scribner's The New Church, 
by Daniel Callahan; in Sheed and 
Ward's Authority in the Church, by 
John L. McKenzie, S.J.; and in Her- 
der's The Christian of the Future 
(1967), by Karl Rahner. A Catho- 
lic prophet well-known in Germany 
becomes better known to Americans 
in Herder's Christian Maturity 
(1967), by Bernard Haring, CSSR, 
(who gave an address at this Semi- 
nary last winter ) . A Catholic prophet- 
pope speaks through a collection of 
the writings of John XXIII in Simon 
and Schuster's An Invitation to Hope 

(1967), translated by John G. 

There is mission in the so-called 
non-Christian lands. It is set forth 
theologically in Abingdon's Christian 
Mission in Theological Perspective 
(1967), edited by Gerald H. Ander- 
son, and written mostly by U. S. 
Methodists for U. S. Methodist an- 
nual consultations on mission. Two 
studies bear on the relation of Chris- 
tianity to other religions: Eerdman's 
The Church Between the Temple and 
Mosque, by J. H. Barwick, and Pren- 
tice-Hall's A Guide to the World's 
Religions (1963), by David G. 

There has been development in 
evangelism. Its history is described 
in Eerdman's History of Evangelism 
(1964), by Paulus Scharpff, and in 
Harper and Row's Venteco sialism, 
by John T. Nichol. 

—Walter R. Clyde. 

Merton, Thomas. Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander. Garden City, N. Y.: 
Doubleday, 1966. Pp. 320 + index. $4.95. 

Father Merton has written another 
book. Like his Seven Storey Moun- 
tain, this book promises to find a 
broad circulation among people out- 
side the church as well as within. 
Since 1956, this genial Trappist 
monk has kept a diary not of the 
usual kind. It is a running com- 
mentary with and about the world 

as Fr. Merton sees it; hence, the title. 
Merton is a perceptive thinker who 
expresses himself well. You will not 
agree with everything in this book, 
nor is this what is called for. You 
will appreciate it overall. It is not a 
book to "enjoy"; it is rather a book 
whose thoughts challenge you to a 




Father Merton has a healthy con- 
tempt of the world. He exposes the 
fallacies of our society with a gleeful, 
puckish abandon. But do not let this 
fool you. Merton is a monk who 
seriously believes one of his monastic 
vocations is to encounter the world 
in the hope of showing that world 
Christ as its regenerator. His capacity 
for loving criticism is enormous, 
from technology to politics, from 
religion to communism, from Barth 
to disarmament, from Bonhoeifer to 

The book is, of course, uneven in 
quality. This is due to the fact that 
it is entirely composed of bits and 
snatches of thought, many of which 
strike the reader as incomplete. It is 
not a difficult book to read, but its 
format is difficult. It seems as if the 
author threw all his writings into five 
bowls with slightly different labels 
on each bowl, and then dished up 
this thought-salad for our enjoyment. 
This is not a book you read straight 
through. You are better off sampling 
here and there, then chewing what 
you have bitten off until you get its 
full flavor. Here are a few ^o;^ mors 
to whet your appetite further: 

"The struggle of Churchmen to 
maintain their places in the world by 
convincing the world that it needs 
them is, to my mind, a confusion and 
an indignity which "the world' rightly 
regards as ridiculous. What does it 
imply? That 'having a place in the 
world' is a major concern of these 


"It is one thing to trust in God 
because one depends on Him in re- 
ality, and quite another to assume 
that He will bless our bombs because 
the Russians are atheists and He can- 
not possibly approve of atheists." 

"A horrible book is being read in 
the refectory, a novel about convent 
life. All the cells are austere, all the 
nuns are severe, and sanctity consists 
in discovering the faults of others 
and mercilessly causing them to be 
punished and corrected. ... It is an 
immoral book. ..." 

"Those who are faithful to the 
original grace (I should not say 
genius) of Protestantism are precise- 
ly those who, in all depth, see as 
Luther saw that the goodness' of the 
good may in fact be the greatest reli- 
gious disaster for a society, and that 
the crucial problem is the conversion 
of the good to Christ." 

"To say of someone T don't know 
him' means, in business, 'I am not 
so sure that he will pay.' But if he 
has money, and proves it, then 'I 
know him.' So we have to get money 
and keep spending it in order to be 
known, recognized as human. Other- 
wise we are excommunicated." 

"Christian social action is first of 
all action that discovers religion in 
politics, religion in work, religion in 
social programs for better wages, 
Social Security, etc., not at all to 'win 
the worker for the Church,' but be- 
cause God became man, because 



every man is potentially Christ, be- 
cause Christ is our brother, and be- 
cause we have no right to let our 
brother live in want, or in degrada- 
tion, or in any form of squalor 
whether physical or spiritual." 

"The Church Militant: the Church 
'that fights.' The Church that fights 
what? Why, Communism of course. 
What else? The Church that fights 
only Communism, or some other 
political system that is hostile to it. 
has ceased to be militant." 

"Blaming the Negro (and by ex- 
tension the Communist, the outside 
agitator, etc.) gives the white a 
stronger sense of identity, or rather it 
protects an identity which is seriously 
threatened with pathological dissolu- 
tion. It is by blaming the Negro that 
the white man tries to hold himself 

If you want to stretch your mind 
in an almost-entertaining way, by 
all means gQt this book. 

— Jay C. Rochelle. 

007 — Jekyll or Hyde 

Starkey, Lycurgus M. James Bond's World of Values. Nashville: Abingdon, 
1966. Pp. 96. $1.45 (paper). 

Boyd, Ann S. The Devil With James Bond! Richmond: John Knox Press, 
1966.Pp. 123. $1.75 (paper). 

The mere fact that the cipher 007 
is recognized almost universally as 
the code name of James Bond should 
be sufficient fact to say that he has 
become a phenomenon in o^or day. 
Coupled to this is the multi-million 
dollar business that has been spawned 
by the thirteen novels of Ian Fleming 
dealing with this super spy and the 
score of motion pictures that have 
come from it. If this were not 
enough to warrant a review of two 
books dealing with this spy in a 
theological quarterly, I should add 
that even here at the Seminary we 

now have a room officially designated 
007 (significantly filled with tape 
recorder and other electronic de- 
vices). Be all this as it may, serious 
attention must be given to the Bond 
phenomenon, for it has had serious 
effect upon a wide age range, both 
within and without the church. The 
very fact that advertisers have latched 
on to this "bondwagon" is evidence 
that they think that the culture has 
been influenced by him and his activ- 
ities. For instance, it is possible to 
purchase a $30 black leather attache 
case and an $80 trench coat, both 



with the 007 symbol. Also available 
are 007 cufflinks (|5), shoes, shav- 
ing creams and deodorants — there is 
even an instance of a woman's night- 
ie being sold with this cipher em- 
broidered upon it. Obviously, James 
Bond is a hero even though his crea- 
tor, Ian Fleming, died in 1964. Amer- 
ican television is now swamped with 
characters and caricatures which 
found their beginnings in Fleming's 
spy novels. 

The two books under reviev/ are 
as different as day and night. Lycur- 
gus M. Starkey, Jr. — now senior 
minister of the College Avenue 
Methodist Church in Muncie, In- 
diana, and once Professor of Church 
History at St. Paul School of Theol- 
ogy, Methodist, in Kansas City — por- 
trays James Bond as the ultimate in 
total depravity, whereas Ann Boyd — 
who holds an M.R.E. degree from. 
Drew University and is a candidate 
for the doctorate at the same institu- 
tion — sees Bond as a modern St. 
George who slays a host of dragons 
in contemporary disguise. 

In Starkey 's James Bond's World 
of Values we find five rather com- 
mon sermons linked together under 
this title, the first four having origi- 
nally been presented on "Frontiers of 
Faith" sponsored by the Broadcasting 
and Film Commission of the Nation- 
al Council of Churches. One of the 
chapters, "The Manly Art of Seduc- 
tion" was carried in Good House- 
keeping magazine. According to 

Starkey there are five major areas in 
which James Bond's world of values 
challenges the Christian faith and 
ethic: sex, sadism, status, leisure 
time, and a narrow nationalism. In 
each of the chapters the author takes 
a point out of Fleming's novels and 
then draws a moral. He sees, for in- 
stance, moral decay in the matter of 
sex; "only twice in thirteen novels 
does he (Bond) fail to seduce the 
girl he fancies," and draws the con- 
clusion that sex is to be enjoyed 
wherever you can steal it without any 
encumbrance or hangup. His conclu- 
sion is that the Christian sex ethic, 
on the other hand, with a biblical 
base may be expressed by the four 
"r's": reverence, relatedness, respon- 
sibility and renewal. These, in turn, 
are each supported by a scriptural 
text; but the exegesis turns out to be 
nothing startling, nothing new, and 
nothing that you haven't heard be- 
fore from your own pulpit and 

The chapter on violence tends to 
be weak and pallid. When love is 
discussed as an alternative to vio- 
lence, it is dene weakly and with 
little understanding of the violence 
that love itself may incur. The con- 
clusion is that "Christians tend to be 
quite pessimistic and realistic about 
man, but optimistic and hopeful 
about God." 

The third chapter is a rather worn- 
out rerun of Vance Packard's The 
Status Seekers. Chapter four tends to 



leave the reader with the idea that a 
good Christian is one who should be 
walking around looking as if he has 
gall and kidney stones in an advanced 
degree. It is the old puritan idea that 
we shouldn't be too happy or in- 
volved in too many pleasures, but 
should be content with "serving God 
within our work." 

Chapter five is quite different. 
This was not originally one of the 
series that Dr. Starkey did for televi- 
sion, and his perception here and his 
v/illingness to stand on a principle 
— and an unpopular principle in. this 
kind of age— is seen. He points out 
in "Tor love of country" that James 
Bond's final norm for judging good 
and evil is the nation, and he takes 
to task the narrow nationalists and 
super-patriots who would talk always 
about America first, or my country, 
right or wrong, still my country. He 
takes to task the D.A.R. for prevent- 
ing Marian Anderson from singing 
in Constiaation Hall and preventing 
an American boy of Mexican descent 
from carrying the flag in a color 
guard; the John Birch Society leaders 
who insinuate the disloyalty of Presi- 
dents, defame churches, and ridicule 
the U.N., etc.; and comes to the con- 
clusion that it's fine to love country 
provided it is "under God," — that is, 
to love country and keep her critical- 
ly aware that she is second to God. 

The second book The Devil With 
James Bond by Ann S. Boyd is much 
more penetrating. Whereas Dr. 

Starkey takes Ian Fleming and James 
Bond only as a point of departure 
into a full-grown sermonizing on the 
sins of our day, Mrs. Boyd makes a 
thorough examination of all of Flem- 
ing's works and comes to some very 
interesting conclusions with support 
from such notables as Soren Kierke- 
gaard and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Mrs. 
Boyd begins by saying that if the 
comic strip "Peanuts" tries to speak 
to children in a world come of age, 
the Bond novels are relevant to ado- 
lescent searching for values and a 
hero figure. She launches into a very 
careful analysis of the completed 
works of Ian Fleming. She insists 
from the outset that an occasional 
Bond movie or novel will never lead 
you to her conclusions; but after 
reading all of Fleming's novels, plus 
his own private comments in the 
press and other places, then a saga of 
a modern knight of faith emerges. 
Whereas Dr. Starkey quotes a great 
deal from the Bible, Mrs. Boyd 
quotes a great deal from the Bond 

She sees Ian Fleming as taking the 
old original "seven deadly sins" 
(envy, pride, covetousness, gluttony, 
sloth, lust, and anger) and suggesting 
that these have their own demonic 
counterpoints in our life today. At 
the top of his roster of sins is the 
spirit of accidie — indifference, care- 
lessness, apathy. The rest of his list 
includes avarice, cruelty, snobbery, 
hypocrisy, self-righteousness, moral 



cowardice, and malice. Her opening 
chapter is a careful study of the sin 
of apathy which, like a malignant 
tumor, is beginning to destroy man 
today. She sees in the incident of 
people passing by those who are in 
trouble on the streets and those re- 
fusing to come out of their apart- 
ment to help a woman being attacked 
a lack of understanding as to what 
it is to be truly human. Fleming him- 
self in The New Yorker once ac- 
counted for Bond's amazing popular- 
ity by saying "I think the reason for 
his success is that people are lacking 
for heroes in real life today." Ann 
Boyd's conclusion is that Fleming's 
intent in writing this series was to 
"name and to destroy the modern 
gods in our society which are actually 
the expression of the demonic in 
contemporary disguise." 

Mrs. Boyd retells the legend of St. 
George and the dragon and then be- 
gins to show by proof texts from the 
Bond novels how this legend is 
revealed almost completely, partic- 
ularly in the novel Dr. No. Beside 
the dragon of apathy or non- involve- 
ment, James Bond manages to sub- 
due the dragons of dehumanization 
and automation in the novel Gold- 
finger and others. On the matter of 
sex it is interesting how this woman 
interprets James Bond. She points 
out that "the association of sex with- 
out love" in James Bond is just about 
as false as the old middle-age image 
of "the chivalrous knight romantic- 

ally in love without sex." She sees 
both of these ideas as false, and 
potentially destructive to human 
relationships and concludes, "if the 
image of the agent can dispel the 
myth of this immature ideal (the 
neurotic equation between sex and an 
idealized concept of romantic love), 
then perhaps James Bond makes a 
positive contribution to fidelity and 
genuine intimacy within marriage." 

Again Mrs. Boyd returns to the 
idea that Ian Fleming parades the 
dragons of our day, one by one, in 
front of Bond to be shot down, and 
in this way his work is in line with 
other English moralists as Chaucer, 
Bunyon, Spencer, and others. For 
instance, Goldfinger is an outstanding 
example of avarice. He says at one 
place, "Mr. Bond, in all my life I 
have been in love. I have been in 
love with gold. I love its color, its 
brilliance, its divine heaviness. I love 
the texture of gold, etc." The sin of 
snobbery is illustrated by the Count 
de Bleuville in On Her Majesty's 
Secret Service. His villains personify 
hypocrisy as they attempt to deceive 
the general public by appearing as 
law-abiding citizens; they appear 
self-righteous in their attitudes; they 
illustrate moral cowardice and vary- 
ing degrees of malice and cruelty. 

The last two chapters of Mrs. 
Boyd's book become a ringing wit- 
ness to the Christian standing in 
direct contradiction to not only the 
stoic conception of a noble apathy, 



but also the epicurean form of seren- 
ity. She shows the depth, the pain, 
and the joy in the attempt to live out 
agape. She points out that compas- 
sion \s not a namby-pamby word, but 
a "gut-level response to the needs of 

One of the interesting questions 
that is raised in this book \s that per- 
haps the reformers' zeal to put down 
and eliminate the idolatry of the 
saints has backfired and has suc- 
ceeded in making possible a more 
shallow worship of celebrity gods 
such as "Superman" and "Batman." 
There is a necessity for super-human 
heroes in life, and "Secret Agent 
007" may well be the new version of 
St. George — one who is involved in 
an authentic battle in real life. 

So much for Mrs. Boyd's very 

interesting theory. It is a book worth 
working through, for it is an idea 
that needs to be put forth in our day. 
The question as to whether Ian 
Fleming's James Bond is the vehicle 
by which this can best be expressed 
is open for debate. I still do not see 
James Bond as one who is involved 
in an agape way of life, but rather as 
fatalistic, hedonistic, detached, and 
disengaged. But then perhaps if I 
read all thirteen novels I would 
change my mind. Certainly with one 
of Mrs. Boyd's statements I can take 
no exception. She says, "Don't try to 
read any of the Bond adventures 
seriously. Bond was meant for fun 
— for escape — and legitimately re- 
quires the willing suspension of dis- 

—William R. Phillippe, 

Wise, Carroll A. The Meaning of Pastoral Care. New York: Harper & Row, 
1966. Pp. 144. $3.50. 

The author adopts a position that 
all of the healing which God can 
bring men comes through personal 
relationships. Pastoral care can only 
happen in a relationship which is 
completely open, free, and non- 
judgmental. The pastor must be so 
emotionally stable that he can be 
deeply empathic, and in such em- 
pathy he will be able to bring the 

love of God meaningfully to others. 
Dr. Wise contends that Christianity 
answers need, but that it can do so 
only through interpersonal relation- 
ships. Sermon and sacrament are 
helpful means toward this end, but 
cannot replace the personal nature of 
pastoral care. The pastor is the one 
who must help people become truly 
themselves. To do this, he must first 



of all be himself, and he must relate 
God to all the activities of his people. 
The novelty of Dr. Wise's approach 
lies in his stress on the pastoral re- 
sponsibility to aid the growth of per- 
sonality. One senses a difference here, 
implicitly hinted, from the dominant 
Rogerian method of non-directive 
counseling. In the concluding chap- 
ter, Dr. Wise analyzes the dilemma 

of scholarship or practicality as it is 
found in many seminaries, also the 
concomitant problem that students 
cannot see their professors as pastors; 
and he offers a way out. This little 
book may signal a new tangent, or 
perhaps a breakthrough, in pastoral 
care. It is must reading for those who 
take ministry seriously. 

— Jay C. Rochelle. 

Wright, Kathryn S. Let the Children Paint. New York: Seabury Press, 1966. 
Pp. 168. $4.50. 

Joy is the basic emphasis of this 
book, an excellent one for everyone 
concerned with Christian education 
in the home and church. The author 
suggests that if the chief end of man 
is to glorify God and enjoy him 
forever, one way to gbfe. children the 
opportunity to do both is to let them 
paint. The first part of the book is 

devoted to the theological and psy- 
chological place of creative expres- 
sion. The second portion is a fresh 
approach to the practical. Directions 
are well written. The last chapter 
contains a wealth of resources includ- 
ing books, films, recordings, and 

— B. M. Burrows. 



speak thanks to him who crisps the shining air, 
Sing love to him who rescues from despair, 
Dance joy to him who reunites two hearts, 
Play peace to him who sanaifies the arts, 
Write praise to him who hallows every day, 
Paint faith to him who marks the holy way, 
Mold hope to him who makes his will a call, 
Give all to him who has forgiven all. 

— Howard Vogt. 


1 ersDcclwe 

September, 1967 
V'olume VIII Number 3 



Volume VIII September, 1967 Number 3 

Published four times yearly in March, June, September and December, by 
the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 North Highland Avenue, Pitts- 
burgh, Pa. 15206, one of the seven seminaries of the United Presbyterian 
Church in the U. S. A, Second-class postage paid at Pittsburgh, Pa. Changes 
of address should be sent to the Seminary, care of the Director of the Mail- 
ing Department. 

Editor: James Arthur Walther, Th.D. 

Publicatwns Committees 
Faculty Student 

Peter Fribley Robert V. Mathias, Chmn. 

Lynn B. Hinds, Chmn. 
J. A. Walther 

J. Rowe Hinsey, ex. off. 

William R. Atkins, ex. off. 

William R. Phillippe, ex. off. 

Circulation: William W. Hill 

Secietarial Assistant: Mrs. Elizabeth Eakin 


Ad Hoc 2 

From the President's Desk 3 

A Seminary Graduation Prayer 4 

by Andrew T. Roy 

Paul's Treatment of Marriage in 1 Corinthians 7 5 

by William F. Orr 

Toward Balance, Synthesis, and Understanding 23 

by Marion A. Fairman 

Book Reviews and Notes 

Cassels, Your Bible 

Chifflot, Water in the Wilderness 

Fisher, How to Interpret the New Testament 30 

Elliott, The Language of the King James Bible 31 

Samuel, Treasure of Qumran 32 

J. A. Walther 

Constantelos, The Greek Orthodox Church 33 

Loew, The Lutheran Way of Life 34 

Hughes, Theology of the English Reformers 36 

Jay C. Rochelle 

Hitt, Heroic Colonial Christians 37 

M. Edwards Breed 

Brown, Ultimate Concern: Tillich in Dialogue 38 

Tillich, The Future of Religions 39 

TUlichy Perspectives on 19th and 20th Century Protestant Theology. 40 
Jay C. Rochelle 

Sharpe, Medicine and the Ministry 42 

Gordon E, Jackson 

Lloyd- Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cures 44 

Boyd, Free to Live, Free to Die 45 

Diem, Kierkegaard 45 

Jay C. Rochelle 

Wagoner, The Seminary AG 

Wm. R. Phillippe 

Morrison and Barnes, New Testament Word Lists 49 


Ad Hoc 

As A THEORETICAL modus Operandi probably few schools would admit 
to accepting the rule, "Publish or perish." In effect, however, the professors 
who publish become most widely known; and their reputations in the scholar- 
ly world rise high on the scale. But when we are mindful of our student 
experiences, we know that the "rule" has no relevance for rating the effective- 
ness of teachers. Each of us has known one or more instructors whose influ- 
ence upon us has been deep and lasting, whose competence in their respective 
fields was beyond question, who probably had certain elements of originality, 
and yet whose reputation was parochial because they did not get into the pub- 
lishing game. One may venture a guess that in most cases these teachers made 
a deliberate choice, and the weight of their energy and labor was given to 
the demanding routines of the classroom and school. A few teachers are able 
to manage both disciplines effectively, but such genius is certainly not 

The reputation of our senior professor, William F. ("Bill") Orr, as 
an effective teacher is legendary. Generation after generation of seminary 
students has advised underclassmen by all means to "get in an elective" with 
Dr. Orr. And this impression says little about the uncounted hours which 
he gives to non-academic needs of the students and to the common life of 
the seminary. Those who know him best do not wonder that he has never 
pursued a writer's reputation. 

So it is with unusual joy that we are able to offer here a paper by our 
colleague. It was delivered to the Biblical Division and guests last February, 
but the substance of the study has engaged Dr. Orr's attention for a number 
of years. We encouraged him to offer the manuscript to a more prestigious 
journal than this, but we are proud and delighted that he insisted on pub- 
lishing where many of his friends and former students will be most likely 
to read it. 

The shorter piece by Mrs. Fairman was delivered last winter at the 
Honors Convocation at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., 
where she is a professor of English. We published other articles by her in 
June, 1965, and June, 1966. 

—I A. W. 

From the President's Desk 

A PRELIMINARY REPORT of a recent study of theological education in 
the Episcopal Church calls attention to three theses advanced a decade ago by 
Dr. Douglas Horton: 

"In general, a community is not better than its churches. 

"In general, a church is not better than its minister. . ' 

"In general, a minister is not better than his training." 

If there is any truth in this trilogy, a heavy burden of responsibility/ is 
laid upon theological seminaries. Like a row of falling dominoes, if the 
seminaries fail to fulfill their function adequately, the quality of the ministry 
is lowered, a moribund church results, with unfortunate consequences for the 
life of the world. 

For the seminaries this means renewed dedication to the task com- 
mitted to us by the church. Faculties and administrations charged with the 
weighty responsibility of training the clergy must be alert to every possible 
improvement of facilities, curriculum, teaching methods, and personal in- 
fluence over students. This alertness to the new, however, must be balanced 
by an equal alertness not to permit any of the treasures which come from 
the past to be lost for the sake of mere novelty. Dilettanteism has no place in 
theological education. Sound theological education brings out of its treasure 
"what is new and what is old" (Matt. 13:52). 

The churches, too, are involved in the weight}^ responsibilities placed 
upon the seminaries. A fourth aphorism might be added to the above three: 
"In general, a seminary cannot be better than the support of its constituency 
will permit." If Dr. Horton's aphorisms are correct, the churches must realize 
that the seminaries stand very high on the priority list of their concerns. 
Ministry, church, community, and world depend on the successful functioning 
of theological seminaries. Do the churches recognize this? Do the seminaries 
really stand high in the esteem of church members.^ Do the seminaries lay 
claim to the interest, the prayers, the time, the support of those who make 
up our churches? The decade ahead will be a testing time for the seminaries. 
If the churches are to fulfill their mission in the future, can they afford to 
make theological education peripheral in their interests? This is a question 
that needs deeper pondering than we have yet been willing to give it. 

— D. G. M. 

A Seminary Graduation Prayer 

O Thou who art great beyond our imagining, good beyond our believ- 
ing, and loving beyond our deserving: rescue us from ourselves, our greatest 
danger, and give us to Thee, our only hope. Blind us to the things that draw 
us from Thee, that we may perceive the things that lead us to Thee, until, 
having found Thee more surely, we may boldly show Thee forth in our 
words and lives, as did those disciples who first felt the rushing wind and 
the arousing fire of Thy Spirit. 

We recall with gratitude the persevering faith of the founders of this 
Seminary, who fashioned well out of little that which was destined to grow. 
We thank Thee for the generosity of friends, churches, and community which 
made it possible to transform material gifts into books, buildings, preaching, 
and teaching. We thank Thee for Board members who have undergirded the 
institution, and for staff who have stimulated imaginations and inspired us 
to endure gladly the disciplines of learning. 

Thou hast, indeed, put our feet in a large room, and we are thankful. 
Forgive us for wasted opportunities, and for those moments when we have 
stood before Thee unconcerned and empty-handed. Forgive, transform, and 
strengthen, that we may be willing witnesses and faithful servants in the 
company of Thy son, whose men we are. 

Look Thou with favor upon us now as we give into Thy keeping the 
years ahead — and the lives that have been molded, in part, by our study and 
worship together. May the members of this class carry from our midst only 
such things as are pure and true. May they do their work in the world with 
finish, and without fuss or self-importance; and come at last to hear Thee 
say, "Well done, good and faithful servants! " 

Season their words with the salt of truth that their conversation may 
be good to the taste. May their thoughtfulness and their courtesy make it an 
ever greater joy to know them. Keep their spirits humble, their thinking 
straight, and their hearts sound. Turn them from hollow and empty things 
toward the true tasks that confront the Church in its world mission. 

Deliver them from the timidity of silence when they ought to speak — 
and from absorption in their own thinking when they could be learning from 

— Concluded on p. 29. 

Paul's Treatment of Marriage 
in 1 Corinthians 7 

by William F. Orr 

when they work out an exegesis of 
a passage, to study the passage for 
themselves by translating it, parsing 
all the words, looking up key words 
in concordances and lexicons, inves- 
tigating whatever historical or geo- 

graphical facts are to be discovered 
in Bible dictionaries to throw light 
on the passage, and then to arrive at 
their own conclusions about what 
the passage means. Only after all this 
is it a good thing to look at the com- 
mentaries to see what points the stu- 
dents themselves may have missed 
and whether or not they or the com- 
mentaries are right. For once I have 
followed my own instructions, and 
so I am presenting in this paper only 
the conclusions I have reached inde- 
pendently of the commentaries. I 
venture to confine this treatment to 
an exegetical study of some points in 
1 Corinthians 7. 

The chapter begins with the 
phrase, "Now concerning the mat- 
ters about which you wrote."^ Simi- 
lar phrases introduced by -rrepi Se are 
scattered throughout the remainder 
of the book.- These all seem to refer 
to points which either a group of, or 
the whole church at, Corinth had 
mentioned in a letter where they 
were seeking information from the 
apostle about right policy in connec- 

^In the original presentation of this paper I referred to the Greek tejit. For editorial 
reasons, many of these instances have been rendered in the translation of the RSV. 
In other cases, most of which will be apparent, my own translation appears. 

2Cf. 7:25, 8:1, 12:1, 16:1,12. 


tion with certain problems. The first 
question which they had raised was 
that of relations between the sexes, 
perhaps occasioned by Paul's stric- 
tures on TTopvoL in a previous letter 
which he mentions in 1 Corinthians 
5:9. It is reasonable to assume that 
Paul picks up each of the items in 
connection with this perennial prob- 
lem in the same order in which the 
Corinthians had raised them in their 
letter. This will explain what some 
people have felt to be a rather illogi- 
cal arrangement of the topics treated 
in chapter 7. 

Paul continues with a statement 
the wording of which is incomplete 
as the Greek stands; it says merely, 
"Good for a man not to touch a 
woman." Thus it is necessary to sup- 
ply some copula or other word to 
complete the sentence. It is not cer- 
tain whether we should insert the 
form eaTL or etmt. Likewise there is 
nothing in the v/ording to indicate 
whether the phrase is a statement of 
Paul or a citation from the letter of 
the Corinthians. In the latier case, it 
may be a statement of fact or a ques- 
tion. There are many places in Paul's 
writings in which KaXov is used in a 
phrase "it is good" where the copula 
is omitted, e.g., 1 Corinthians 7:8, 
"it is good for them if they remain as 
I am" (this is in the form of a quo- 
tation after Aeyw and probably im- 
plies etmt) and 7:26, "that it is good 
for a man to be thus." The first of 
these examples is parallel to our 

phrase in vs. 1. But in the first part 
of 7:26 a copula is present which 
occurs in the infinitive form — "this 
is good," and the "is" is in the form 
vTrapxeLv — while in the second clause 
the verb etvai is found. I suggest, 
therefore, that we are fully entitled 
to supply the infinitive of the verb 
"to be" and to understand the phrase 
to mean, "concerning the things of 
which you wrote, first, that it is 
good for a man not to touch a 
woman." Then this would refer to a 
statement or hypothetical proposition 
raised by the church rather than an 
opinion of the apostle (cf. vs. 8). In 
this case we may take literally the 
imperative mood of the main verbs 
in vs. 2, whereas if the statement in 
vs. 1 is the apostle's stated opinion, 
the imperatives in vs. 2 have to be 
interpreted very loosely in order to 
avoid a contradiction. (After raising 
this possibility, I consulted num.erous 
commentators and found that none 
has understood vs. 1 in this way, 
though Robertson and Plummet in 
the ICC come very close to it.) 

It is interesting to observe that 
the term for "man" in this verse is 
avOpo)7ro^ and not avrjp. This is some- 
what striking because of the fact that 
avOpomo^ designates a human being 
rather than a male. However, a check 
through the concordances of the Old 
and New Testaments demonstrates 
at once that avOpoiwo^ in the plural 
probably includes members of both 
sexes, while sometimes in the singu- 


lar it may refer to either one or the 
other in a general statement; but 
never, when a particular individual 
is referred to, does it mean a woman. 
It is used likewise on several occa- 
sions to refer to a man who is either 
married to a woman or is about to 
be (e.g., Mt. 19:5 and parallels, "a 
man shall leave his father and mother 
and cleave unto his wife"). Usually, 
however, the term seems to refer to 
a man who may be either married 
or not married, whereas if a man is 
married, he is likely to be referred 
to in contrast to his wife, by the term 
avrjp. Thus in our passage the word 
refers to any male whether married 
or not. 

Now the verb airTecrOaL means lit- 
erally to "touch, seize, or grasp." It 
is used sometimes in the OT to refer 
to a man's relationship with a wom- 
an. Billerbeck states in his com- 
mentary on the passage that the word 
means "marry' so that the question 
would concern whether it is good 
for man to marry a wife. The inves- 
tigation I made through the Bible 
indicates that this is not a correct 
interpretation, for in the passages in 
which it is used, airTeaOai means 
physical intercourse, without refer- 
ence to marriage. For example, Gen. 
20:4, "Abimelech had not touched 
her" means he had not had inter- 
course with Sarah, and also 20:6, "I 

did not permit you to touch her" has 
precisely the same meaning.^ Prov- 
erbs 6:29, "Thus the one who goes 
in to a woman that belongs to 
another man will not be considered 
innocent, neither will anyone who 
touches her." Obviously "anyone who 
touches her" means one who has 
intercourse and thus commits adul- 
tery with a woman married to 
another man. There is no instance 
where the word arrredOai refers to 
marriage. This means that our state- 
ment raises the question about phy- 
sical relationship between the sexes 
rather than marriage itself, and thus 
has to do with the question as to 
whether all people, married or un- 
married, should abstain from sexual 
cohabitation. The usual understand- 
ing of the phrase makes the apostle 
himself affirm that such abstinence is 

Another question arises as to the 
meaning of the word "good." KaXov 
means "good" in the sense of "beauti- 
ful, fitting, or excellent." Most of the 
commentators think here it means 
"valuable or advisable." Usually, how- 
ever, in the phrase "it is good" in the 
NT the word means more than 
merely "advisable," rather, "almost 
necessary." For example, Mt. 18:8, 
"it is good for you to enter into life 
lame"; Mt. 9:1, ''it is good for you to 
enter into life with one eye"; Mk. 

'Quotations from the OT presuppose the usage of the Septuagint, of course, unless 
otherwise indicated. 



7:27, "it is not good to take bread of 
the children and give it to the dogs"; 
1 Cor. 5:6, "your glorying is not 
good"; etc. In most of these passages 
and others that could be cited, the 
"good" refers to something a little 
more than merely "advisable." It is a 
kind of understatement for "it is 
right," "it is necessary," or "it is 
decent." There are other passages, of 
course, in which it does mean per- 
haps "valuable" or "excellent," as in 
Mk. 9:5, "it is good for us to be 
here"; but elsewhere the stronger 
implication seems to be present. 
Since Paul immediately commands 
sex relations in marriage, the prob- 
ability is increased that the statement 
comes from the letter that the church 
wrote rather than from the apostle 

In this case, his answer begins with 
vs. 2. "Now, because of acts of un- 
chastity, let each man have his own 
wife and each woman her own hus- 
band." If the statement of the first 
verse is a basic principle laid down 
by Paul himself, he immediately de- 
crees the opposite: "Let each man or 
woman have a partner in marriage." 
There is no reason to require that the 
command "let them have" means 
permission or concession. The gram- 
matical form is the third imperative; 
and as the verb is usually understood, 
it means, "let each man and woman 
have a marriage partner." This seems 
to indicate that the apostle com- 
manded universal marriage. How- 

ever, if we give heed to the tense of 
the command, which is present, and 
if we bear in mind that the question 
concerns physical cohabition, either 
in or outside of the marriage, we may 
eliminate the apparent contradiction. 
The rule for the interpretation of the 
present imperative in Robertson's 
Grammar, page 851 ff, requires in 
the positive command the meaning 
"keep on doing what you are doing," 
and in the negative "stop doing what 
you are doing"; while the aorist im- 
perative means affirmatively "begin 
to do what you have not been doing," 
and as a prohibition "don't start what 
you have not been doing." Here the 
present imperative means to continue 
a condition rather than to begin one. 
Consequently it should not be under- 
stood as meaning that every man 
should marry a wife and every 
woman marry a husband. If it meant 
that, it should employ the aorist. A 
run down through the concordances 
reveals that in many instances the 
verb exetv in reference to the relation 
between the sexes means physical 
cohabitation; cf. Ex. 2:1, "there was a 
certain man from the tribe of Levi 
who married one of the daughters of 
Levi and 'had her' and she conceived 
in the womb"; Deut. 28:30, "you will 
marry a wife and another man will 
'have her.' " In these instances the 
verb "to have" refers to sexual rela- 
tionships and not to the ceremony of 
marriage. Isa. 13:16, "and they will 
rend their children before them and 


will plunder their houses and will 
have their wives," refers to the 
actions of the enemies of Babylon 
who will thus humiliate its inhabi- 
tants especially by ravaging their 
wives. There is no instance of the use 
of the present imperative of this verb 
to refer to the act of marriage. It 
seems justified, consequently, to con- 
clude that the apostle is affirming 
that every married man should con- 
tinue physical cohabitation with his 
wife and that every married woman 
should do the same with her husband. 
Thus the command denies that with- 
in marriage cohabitation should be 
broken off. Incidentally, the use of 
the possessive reflexive pronoun 
eavTov and the adjective thov implies 
monogamy. This passage is one of the 
few in the Bible which clearly in- 
dicates monogamy as requisite for 
the servants of God. As I see it, vs. 
2 does not therefore recommend uni- 
versal marriage because of aas of 
fornication, so much as it recom- 
mends continuance of physical rela- 
tionships within marriage. The ques- 
tion of the marriage of those who are 
single is discussed in later paragraphs 
of this chapter. 

Now the requirement of physical 
cohabitation in marriage is empha- 
sized in vs. 3, where the husband is 
commanded to repay the debt to his 
wife and the wife likewise to repay 
the debt to her husband. The only 
reference that I have found to the 
idea of a marriage debt is contained 

in the Billerbeck commentary on the 
passage which cites several extracts 
from the midrashim. In Ex. 21 : 10 the 
Mekhilta says, "he shall not reduce 
her food, her clothing nor her co- 
habitation." Rabbi Jonathan draws 
the conclusion that no one is justified 
in withholding an obligation which 
belongs to the very nature of mar- 
riage, such as cohabitation. Billerbeck 
himself concludes from several rab- 
binical passages that the marriage 
obligation included physical support, 
cohabitation, and provision for cloth- 
ing. Paul seems to present the same 
idea here, for the continuation of the 
practice of physical intercourse is not 
a free option so much as k is the 
performance of the marriage obliga- 
tion that cannot be cancelled by any 
religious scruple or ascetic idea. He 
states this obligation as equally bind- 
ing on the husband and the wife, 
neither one having the right to deny 
the other. 

This principle is enforced by an 
amazing statement which enunciates 
what we may call the principle of 
neurological interchange: "the wife 
does not have authority over her own 
body, but the husband has. Likewise 
also the husband does not have au- 
thority over his own body but the 
wife has." Here we have precisely the 
same balance of rights and the asser- 
tion of an absolute equality between 
the husband and the wife as stated in 
vs. 3. This equality of rights and 
obligations seems to me to be 



uniquely stated here, for such an idea 
is found nowhere else in the Bible. 
However, something close to it is 
found in the writings of the stoic 
philosopher Musonius, quoted by J. 
Weiss: "The sum total of marriage 
is the sharing of life and the beget- 
ting of children for he says the one 
who marries and the one who is mar- 
ried come together for this purpose. 
It is necessary for each to live in such 
a way with the other and to produce 
children in common and to consider 
nothing whatever a private possession 
not even the body itself, but to con- 
sider all things to be common, when 
they agree with each other and make 
all things common, even including 
their bodies."^ The principle enun- 
ciated in Paul's statement involves 
the surrender of control over one's 
own body to the marriage partner. 
The verb e^ovma^eiv means to have 
the kind of authority over another 
that the kings or slave holders have 
over their subjects or that men have 
over their property. Hence this state- 
ment involves the free surrender in 
marriage of one's right to control his 
own body. Such a surrender, while it 
is the expression of a voluntary 
choice when one marries another, is 
not optional after the marriage but is 
a legal obligation. The marriage 
partner has a right to the enjoyment 
of the other person's body, though of 
course this right is mutual and equal 

for both. If there is — as I think there 
is — a significant difference between 
the sexes in the matter of sex adjust- 
ment, then it follows that each one 
has the obligation to meet the needs 
of the other according to the other's 
need. In practical life this means that 
wives have no right to bargain with 
their husbands in reference to sex 
relationships or to bestow sex gratifi- 
cation as a reward for good conduct. 
On the other hand, men have no 
right to ignore the emotional needs 
of their wives or to fail to make the 
proper psychological preparation for 
sex relationships that women's emo- 
tional nature requires. The surrender 
of the authority over one's own body 
means that the other one has the right 
to receive personal and physical 
gratification. The provision of this 
gratification is not a virtue but is the 
payment of a debt and is simply 
yielding to the proper authority. 

In vs. 5, Paul proceeds to empha- 
size the principle by commanding 
them not to deprive each other ex- 
cept in one instance, when by mu- 
tual agreement they may consent to 
abstain from cohabitation for a 
period of time in order that they may 
have leisure for prayer, and that they 
afterwards should resume their nor- 
mal marriage relationship. Now this 
mutual agreement to abstain for the 
sake of prayer and to come back to- 
gether again is based on the purpose 

■^Der erste Korintherbrjef ( 1910), ad loc. 



of restricting the temptation of Satan 
because of the lack of self-control. 
This particular concession is a little 
mysterious because it is hard to see 
why regular practice of married sex 
would interfere with regular prayer. 
Paul, however, seems to recognize 
that there might be occasions where 
both parties would concentrate for 
several days upon prayer to the ex- 
clusion of all normal life concerns. 
He does not specify how long these 
periods should be but indicates that 
they must be terminated by the re- 
sumption of the ordinary relation- 
ships. The temptation of Satan 
operates because of a lack of self- 
control. Now this power of Satan to 
tempt may be thwarted ( 1 ) by this 
special kind of prayer, and (2) by 
the regular continuation of sex rela- 
tionships inside marriage. Usually 
the aKpaaia IS understood to refer to 
inability to control sex desire. The 
argument is hence "because you can- 
not control your sex desire you need 
to gratify it by normal marriage 
intercourse so that Satan will not 
tempt you to harlotry or adultery." 
But a cognate word aKpaTrj<i is used in 
Proverbs 27:20, "The undisciplined 
people are licentious in their speech." 
I wonder, then, if another idea may 
not be implied based on the fact that 
Satan is the figure who accuses and 
who also stirs up strife. When for one 
reason or another marriage partners 
refuse regular sex satisfaction to each 
other, the door is open to anger and 

hate; and this provides Satan a 
golden opportunity to stir up strife 
between the man and the wife and 
thus to give grounds for accusation 
against them. 

Verse 6 says, "but I say this by way 
of concession and not by way of com- 
mand." The question is, to what does 
"this" refer? According to the usage 
of classical Greek ovto^ generally re- 
fers backwards to something already 
mentioned. But this rule does not 
hold in 1 Cor.; for in 1:12 he says, 
"I say this, that each one of you 
says ..." Obviously "this" refers to 
the on clause which follows. In 7:26, 
"I think this to be good, namely . . . 
were you bound to a wife? Do not 
seek a release from her." Again the 
"this" or the tovto refers to what fol- 
lows. And 11:17, "when I command 
this I do not praise you because you 
do not come together for the better 
but for the worse": the "this" refers 
to his subsequent discussion about 
the Lord's Supper which comes up 
only from vs. 20 on. Consequently 
we may conclude that here in vs. 6 
the "this" refers to v/hat he is going 
to say about the unmarried and the 
widows, which likewise comes up 
from vs. 8 on. Now those who insist 
that it refers backwards have diffi- 
culty in deciding where it lights. 
Some think it refers to the agreement 
to abstain for prayer, some to the 
injunction not to deprive each other, 
and some to the statement "let each 
man have his own wife." But as we 



have seen, all of these statements are 
given in the imperative mood and 
properly mean commands. A com- 
mand cannot be regarded as a con- 
cession. So when he says, '7 say this 
by concession and not command," he 
must be referring forward. That 
would mean that his statements about 
the unmarried and the widows are by 
way of concession to human need. 
This conclusion may seem to be 
negated by the presence of the 8e in 
vs. 7. I am willing to concede that 
for the most part 8e should be re- 
garded as adversative. But it appears 
that in the string of sentences from 
chap. 6 on through chap. 7 there are 
several instances where Se is not so 
much adversative as indicative of a 
shift of subject so that these should 
be translated not "but" but rather 
"now." For example, in vs. 3 the man 
is to repay the debt to the wife and 
likewise the wife to the man. Here 
8e Kai is found. In 6:13, "the body is 
not for fornication but for the Lord. 
Now God both raised up the Lord 
and will raise us up." The second 
statement includes 8e, yet it does not 
contrast with the previous but rather 
gives an additional truth that is 
logically connected with the previous 
statement. Also here in vs. 7 we may 
understand it to state "I say this ac- 
cording to concession, as I wish all 
men to be as myself." This discussion 
of the 8e reminds us of a text prob- 
lem: Vatkanus, the Koine text, and 
one example of the Vulgate and the 

Syriac read yap instead of 8e. This 
would mean, "for I wish all men to 
be as myself" and gives the reason 
for his making the concession. We 
have to recognize that when Vati- 
canus and the Koine text agree along 
with a couple of representatives of 
the Western text, we have no mean 
authority. Then this would clinch the 
case for referring the "this" forward 
to vs. 8. 

The next paragraph in his treat- 
ment alludes to the urmiarried and 
the widows. The unmarried are 
masculine, and the widows are fem- 
inine. Immediately this suggests the 
idea of a balance or parallel. The 
parallel to widows is widowers. Such 
a word xnP^^ exists in Greek but is 
not used in the NT and is not found 
in the Septuagint. Whatever may be 
the reason for the omission of this 
word, biblical authors apparently did 
not feel inclined to use it. I suggest, 
therefore, that in vs. 8 aya/Aot? means 
not "bachelors" but "widowers." 
Etymologically the term means "un- 
married." The Greek word begins, of 
course, with alpha privative. Now to 
an English ear, the prefix un- in "un- 
married" means "one who has not 
been married," whereas the alpha 
privative may mean both one who 
has not been married and one who 
is out of marriage, or as we might 
invent a word and say one who is 
"de-married." Liddell and Scott's un- 
abridged lexicon states that aya/xot 
means both "bachelors" and "widow- 



ers." I suggest therefore that we 
should understand him to say in vs. 8, 
"Now I am speaking to the widowers 
and the widows. It is good for them 
if they remain as I." Such an under- 
standing will relieve several diffi- 
culties. In the first place, if he is talk- 
ing about bachelors, there is a strange 
lack of balance between the terms 
"bachelors" and "widows." Secondly, 
from vs. 25 on he proceeds to dis- 
cuss people that have not been mar- 
ried. And thirdly, at least what has 
been felt as a difficulty about Paul's 
own state is relieved. Many people 
who are aware of rabbinical law have 
felt that there is some historical diffi- 
culty about the assertions that Paul 
was a student of Gamaliel and was a 
member of the Sanhedrin Council 
that voted to condemn Stephen. Since 
in the Mishnah it is clear that a rabbi 
has to be married, if Paul were a 
rabbi, as evidence seem.s to indicate 
— at least the evidence of the book of 
Acts — then he could not have been 
a bachelor; but he could very well 
have been a widower. If we under- 
stand the term aya/iot? to mean 
"widowers," then Paul is urging them 
to rem_ain the same way he is now, a 
widower; and yet, he does not insist 
on this because he makes the con- 
cession, "if they do not have self- 
control let them get married, for it is 
better to marry than to burn with a 
fever." Now this rationale of re- 
marriage may be felt by those with 
subtle perceptions to fit more accur- 

ately the needs of widowers and 
widows than the more idealistic and 
romantic feelings of people in the 
first flush of love, as youths. It seems 
to be a fact that when people have 
enjoyed the physical relationships of 
marriage and are suddenly deprived 
of this by death or divorce, they are 
thrown into a very serious emotional 
dilemma. Desires that have been 
awakened and satisfied have a very 
strong power. And Paul is affirming 
that for these people it is better to 
marry again than to burn or be con- 
sumed by the physical and emotional 
fever imposed by present desolation. 
Now these propositions are the con- 
cessions to which he has referred in 
vs. 6. Additional argument for the 
reference of aya/^ot? to widowers may 
be furnished by the other examples of 
its use in this chapter. For example, 
in vs. 11 he says of a wife who has 
left her husband, "let her remain 
aya/jLo^, 'de-m.arried,' or else be 
reconciled to her husband." Here 
ayajj.o^ means living in the state of 
separation from a husband. Also in 
vs. 34 we read, "and the unmarried 
woman and the virgin care for the 
things of the Lord." Here the un- 
married woman is listed as an addi- 
tion to the virgin and consequently 
does not have the same meaning. It 
m-eans what it meant above, one who 
has entered an unmarried state either 
by separation or by the death of her 
husband. It seems, therefore, that we 
are justified in attaching this mean- 



ing to the word in vs. 8. Hence Paul 
has so far discussed first, what is 
proper to married people, and sec- 
ond, what is proper for widowers 
and v/idows. 

Then he discusses the question of 
divorce by affirming flatly for those 
v/ho are both Christians divorce is 
forbidden, not by Paul's word, but by 
the word of the Lord, which means 
by the teaching of Jesus. He takes 
what Jesus says in Mt. and Mk. with- 
out the exception clause as absolutely 
binding on all his followers. However 
he goes on to express an opinion, 
which he states is not based on the 
teaching of the Lord, that when a 
Christian is married to a non-Chris- 
tian, the situation may be different. 
In the first place, the continuance of 
the marriage depends upon the will 
of the non-Christian who does not 
accept the authority of Christ. If he 
is a Jewish husband, rabbinical law 
permits him to divorce his wife. If 
he is a Greek or a Roman, Roman 
law permitted either partner to di- 
vorce the other. Therefore he m.ay 
choose to exercise this legal preroga- 
tive no matter what the opinion of 
the Christian partner may be. Paul 
here, as in the previous section, makes 
no distinction between the husband 
and v/ife inasmuch as he says that 
the case in point may be that of the 
believing husband married to an un- 
believing wife, or a believing wife 
married to an unbelieving husband. 
Now first of all, if the unbeliever is 

willing or pleased to live with the 
believer, the believer shall never di- 
vorce the unbeliever. If fears arise 
that contact of this close and intimate 
kind with an unbeliever should some- 
how pollute, pervert, or mislead the 
believer, Paul reassures his readers 
by saying that the unbelieving hus- 
band has been sanctified by the wife, 
and the unbelieving wife has been 
sanctified by the Christian husband. 
[This is a doctrine which has never 
been properly appreciated in the 
Church. It may be entitled the Doc- 
trine of Uxorial Sanctification. Inci- 
dentally, for those who are dealing 
with the perplexities of modern mar- 
ried people, this verse may prove a 
gold mine; for many Christians in 
marriage are worried about their 
married partners who are not Chris- 
tian and feel that they are obligated 
somehow to evangelize them. The 
trouble is that the attitude of an 
evangelist and that of a married 
partner do not fit together; and in- 
variably the evangelist begins to 
harass, cajole, and harangue the other 
partner so that the partner is driven 
farther from Christian belief than 
before, and the marriage itself is 
jeopardized.} The only condition that 
Paul lays down here for the sanctifi- 
cation of the unbeliever is that he be 
pleased to live with the believer. 
Therefore the object of the believer 
is to make the marriage happy for 
the unbeliever. The close contact 
produces a corporal unity between 



the two so that the unbelieving mem- 
ber of the marriage is sanctified by 
the faith of the believer. Now the 
mood and tense of the verb "sancti- 
fied" is perfect- indicative, which 
means that this has taken place and it 
continues in effect. It is without 
condition and is a statement of fact. 
He reinforces this astounding state- 
ment by the further fact that if it is 
not true, the children are unclean; 
but they are holy — holy because of 
their being children of believers, 
being united by the kinship in the 
family. In the same v/ay, the non- 
Christian partner being united by the 
union of the flesh with the believer 
is holy. 

The second condition is when the 
unbeliever refuses to live with the 
believer and exercises his legal prero- 
gative of divorce, either because he 
has contempt for the Christian reli- 
gion or for the partner who is a 
Christian. In this case the believer is 
to permit the unbeliever to depart 
without controversy or attempt to 
hold him to the marriage. Paul says 
in vs. 15, "the brother or the sister 
has not been enslaved in these kinds 
of cases," which seems to mean that 
in such a case the Christian who has 
been deserted and divorced is free to 
marry again. This, incidentally, is the 
ground for the Westminster Confes- 
sion's old idea of desertion as a Scrip- 
tural ground for divorce. 

The mysterious conclusion to these 
statements about the mixed marriage 

is: "but God called you in peace. 
What do you know, woman, if you 
will save your husband or what do you 
know, husband, if you will save your 
wife?" Three grammatical points are 
striking. What is the meaning of ev 
with eLprjvrj? How do we understand 
the two instances of tl in vs. 16, and 
what is the significance of the future 
indicative of the verb o-wcret? in the 
"if" clause? If the preposition ev is 
taken to govern the locative, then the 
phrase means "you were in a condi- 
tion of peace when God called you." 
And that doesn't seem to supply any 
intelligible idea in the context. If it 
be taken as instrumental it may mean 
"God called you by means of peace 
or in a peaceful manner." Perhaps the 
second of these is the true idea. Since 
God called you in a peaceful manner, 
you are to be related to other people 
in the crises of life in a peaceful man- 
ner. Usually the word "call" refers to 
the divine choice and command to a 
person to enter the Christian life to 
becomie a disciple or to accept some 
official function in the Church. There 
is a question as to whether in this 
context it could mean "God called 
you in a peaceful manner to become 
a Christian though you were miarried 
to an unbeliever who refuses to ac- 
cept the Christian faith, and hence 
even in the distress of an enforced 
separation you should manifest the 
spiritual disposition that God had 
when he called you." Then the idea 
would be to let the unbeliever depart 



in a peaceful manner without recrim- 
inations and outbursts of anger. If 
this is the case, the next verse raises 
the question: how do you know if 
you will save your husband? There 
are two ideas: one, "saving" here 
could be healing so that the manner 
in which the partner is permitted to 
leave might itself have an influence 
on getting him back. To save your 
husband or your wife may mean to 
restore the husband or wife to the 
original position in the marriage. 
However, there is another possibility 
in connection with the meaning of tl 
plus et. This can mean, "how do you 
know, wife, that you will save your 
husband?" or "how do you know, 
husband, that you will save your 
wife?" Admittedly the word et does 
not ordinarily mean "that," but some- 
times under the influence of a Semitic 
use of the conjunction 'im this mean- 
ing may be expressed by et in the 
NT. If this is the meaning of the 
verse, then the question justifies let- 
ting the person go because you have 
no assurance that if you could keep 
him at home, you would be able to 
save the marriage situation. Now it is 
interesting to observe that we have 
an if clause with the future indica- 
tive. This kind of clause indicates 
that the condition is assumed to be 
real or unreal. And probably here it 
means to affirm that you don't know 
that such a condition will obtain. At 
any rate, I think we can exclude from 
our interpretation the idea that some 

people have had that this verse is 
referring to Christian salvation and 
indicating that no wife or husband 
knows whether, if he or she acts bet- 
ter in the marriage, the soul of the 
other person may be saved. Such an 
understanding makes vs. 16 con- 
tradict vs. 14. 

Verses 17-24 make statements 
about retaining the circumstances in 
which you existed before you become 
a Christian. While the injunctions are 
very illuminating about the historical 
circumstances of the time, they have 
no bearing upon the question of mar- 
riage. They seem to be thoughts 
somehow suggested to the mind of 
Paul by what he has said before, but 
I see no obvious connection and have 
difficulty understanding v/hy this 
paragraph begins with the connective 
"except" — this is obviously regarded 
as a series of reminders which have 
to be borne in mind despite what 
has been said before. And since I find 
myself unable to see what the con- 
nection is, I will pass by the whole 

In vs. 25 Paul seems to resume the 
discussion of points about marriage 
raised by the letter; for he says, "Now 
concerning virgins I have no com- 
mand of the Lord." If we are not off- 
base in understanding aya/^ot? in vs. 
8 to refer to widowers, then it fol- 
lows that "virgins" here is a term to 
describe people who have not been 
married. Both in English and in 
Greek, "virgin" is female in the over- 



whelming majority of cases; but 
sometimes a man even in English 
may be called a virgin and in Greek 
we have a clear instance of this in 
Rev. 14:4, "these (masculine) are 
those who have not been polluted 
with women, for they are virgins." 
Since the term is applicable to men, 
I suggest with trembling hesitation 
that the virgins in this verse mean 
both men and women who have 
never been married.^ If we indulge 
ourselves in the license of such an 
interpretation, the classifications in 
the chapter become very clear, some- 
thing which by no means can be said 
of it if "virgins" means here only 
females. By taking it to mean unmar- 
ried persons of both sexes we dis- 
cover that Paul is actually dealing 
with a different group from those he 
has discussed before. In the first para- 
graph of the chapter, he has discussed 
what is proper to married people; in 
the second paragraph, what is proper 
for those whose marriages have been 
or will be dissolved; third, those who 
are thinking of divorce; fourth, what 
is proper for those who are now in- 
volved in a marriage of mixed 
religion. Verse 25 considers (fifth) 
previously unmarried people whether 
male or female. This makes sense be- 
cause in the first two paragraphs, he 
discusses conduct appropriate to the 
members of both sexes, and we may 

anticipate that he would continue the 
same approach in our present para- 
graph. Paul indicates that he has no 
command of the Lord but is willing 
to give an opinion as one who has 
received mercy from the Lord to be 
faithful, or better, trustworthy. It is 
clear that Paul had not heard of the 
creative pov/er which the Spirit be- 
stowed upon the Church — according 
to Bultmann — of producing ad hoc 
sayings of Jesus at wiU to fit a Sitz 
im Lehen. Paul always insists that he 
is fully equipped by the Spirit. He 
also received his Gospel by revela- 
tion and not from any man. In rela- 
tion to Corinth he is the Father of 
the Church as no other man is. Now 
if any early Christian enthusiast or 
prophet would have been empowered 
by the Holy Spirit to produce at will 
appropriate sayings of the Lord to 
cover embarrassing situations or to 
answer difficult problems, certainly 
Paul himself should have been the 
most efficient agent of such produc- 
tion. But he lets us know that in con- 
nection with virgins, he has no com- 
mand of the Lord, and he is not about 
to invent one. This indicates that he 
had knowledge of a collection of 
words of the Lord, the extent of 
which we do not know, that these 
words of the Lord had binding au- 
thority in the Church, and that when 
a situation arose to which any of 

^Cf. J. Weiss, op. cit., p. 194: "Indeed under virgins must be included both men and 
women." Weiss thinks of a vow made between virgins which included a close 
relationship but not the cohabitation of marriage. 



these words applied, Paul did not 
hesitate to recall them. Yet he did 
not on any occasion quote the words 
literally. I myself feel that this sen- 
tence justifies us in preferring the 
general attitude of Dibelius on the 
matter of the formation of the Gos- 
pel tradition to that of Bultmann. 
Since Paul knew of no word of the 
Lord concerning virgins, and since no 
such word is sound in the collection 
of teachings preserved in our Gos- 
pels, Paul is reduced to the necessity 
of expressing his opinion. He feels 
that this opinion will have some 
weight because the Lord has been 
merciful to him, first by converting 
him to the Christian faith, and next 
by calling him to be the Apostle to 
the Gentiles, neither of which great 
blessings he had deserved. Now the 
word TTto-To? here, as J. Weiss informs 
us, is "trustworthy," rather than 
"faithful." In the context it means the 
Gospel was entrusted to Paul in the 
full confidence that he would be 
worthy of this trust in passing k on 
uncontaminated to his hearers. So he 
feels that now as a result of this 
mercy, he is able to give a reliable 
opinion on a subject of virgins. But 
again we have a digression, or at least 
a transfer of attention from this par- 
ticular problem to the general prin- 
ciple or condition in the light of 
which this problem as well as others 
must be solved. For he says, "I think 

that this is good because of the pres- 
ent necessity that (or because) it is 
good for man to be thus: are you 
bound to a wife? Do not seek a re- 
lease. Have you been released from 
a wife? Do not seek a wife. But even 
if you get married, you do not sin, 
and if the virgin gets married, she 
does not sin." This statement refers 
in the first part to men who are either 
married or released from marriage. 
Since the verb XeXvarat is in the per- 
fect, I think it means an act which 
has occurred the eflfect of which is 
still present. And thus it is not to be 
understood as "Are you free now 
from marriage by not ever having 
been married," but it means "have 
you been released from a wife," pre- 
sumably by her death. If you are such 
a person and marry, you do not sin. 
Now he takes up the virgin. There 
is an interesting verbal problem here 
because the Greek word for marry, 
yajxetv, means, as we have seen, the 
marriage which a man contracts. 
Here this word in the active is used 
apparently with a feminine subject, 
"the virgin" where the feminine 
article is used. However, several good 
manuscripts^ omit the article, in 
which case we would read, "if a vir- 
gin marries, he or she does not com- 
mit a sin"; and the use of yafxeiv 
would be fitting if the word meant 
either man or woman. Again with 
great hesitation, we suggest that 

'B.G. (Boernerianus, IX Century). 



the omission of the article is justified, 
both by manuscript authority and by 
the proper interpretation of the pas- 

Now the reason for Paul's general 
principle here in connection with 
both virgins and previously married 
persons — that they would do better 
not to try to change their present 
condition but yet are perfectly inno- 
cent if they do — is that the time is 
short. And in this short time, in view 
of the coming aitliction before the 
return of Christ, those who are mar- 
ried will have special difficulty. It is 
a little hard for me to see why the 
special difficulty attaches to married 
people more than to single people in 
any prospective eschatological catas- 
trophe, but Paul thought there would 
be. He also indicates that in the time 
between now and the coming of the 
Lord, people should live in their life 
condition as if they did not live in it: 
"the weepers as those who do not 
weep and the rejoicers as those who 
do not rejoice and the purchasers as 
those who do not own. For the shape 
of this world is passing away." Now 
to my mind it is not evident why 
such statements are not equally true 
in view of the universal imminence 
of death. And since this imminence is 
a characteristic of all generations, I 
cannot understand why the particular 
generation preceding the last days 
should have any different principles 
from all the other generations since 
presumably we are all going to die 

and are going to face the judgment. 
Many modern scholars, by the way 
they write, seem perfectly clear in 
that there is such a difference and 
that NT ethics is determined by it. 
Paul indicates that the bachelor or 
widower will care for the things of 
the Lord more than one who has 
gotten married, and likewise, the 
widow or the virgin cares for the 
things of the Lord more than one 
who gets married. Here again I am 
afraid I cannot understand this; for 
the unmarried people I have known 
seem to be as perplexed about the 
cares of the world as any married 
people and in some instances, much 
more so. Paul, however, by caring or 
anxiety, may have meant a dedication 
of the whole life in a career. He 
might mean that an unmarried per- 
son can concentrate all his leisure 
time on some special service of God, 
whereas if he is married he must con- 
centrate at least a good part of his 
time on the support of his family. 
Also in view of the idea that this is 
the last generation, he may have had 
in his mind that there is no need of 
having children. Of course, that 
would make a difference. If the world 
is coming to an end, that purpose of 
marriage is futile. Then of course, 
since we have discovered that the end 
did not come in that generation and 
hasn't come yet, whatever principles 
Paul laid down based on this assump- 
tion need a little revision. Yet even 
under his presupposition he insists 



that either a man or a woman has a 
perfect right to marry in the face of 
the eschatological situation. 

From vs. 36 on, we have another 
puzzling paragraph. There is no ques- 
tion that the virgin described here is 
a female. "If anyone thinks that he is 
acting shamefully towards his virgin, 
if she be past the ripe age and it 
ought to happen this way, what he 
wills, let him do. He does not sin. 
Let them get married. But who stands 
firm in his heart, not being under 
necessity, but has authority over his 
own will and has decided this in his 
own heart to keep his own virgin, he 
will do well. So that both the one 
who marries (?) his own virgin does 
well and the one who does not marry 
her will do better." 

No collection of Scripture verses 
of such length bristles with more 
difficulties. As Lietzmann pointedly 
states: If anyone reads without preju- 
dice verses 36-37, he will have no 
doubt though the phraseology seems 
a little clumsy that Paul is talking 
about a young man with his fiancee. 
But if he reads equally unprejudiced 
vs. 38 without reading the first verses 
he would have no doubt that he is 
talking about the father of a virgin 
daughter. It is not absolutely clear 
v/ho is the subject of the phrase "if 
(he or she) is beyond the ripe age," 
or of the last phrase "what (he or 
she) wishes let him or her do." Here 
are the possibilities. (1) If anyone 
thinks that he is acting shamefully 

towards his virgin, if he be past the 
ripe age, what he wills let him do. 
(2) If he be past the ripe age, let 
her do what she wishes. (3) If she 
be of a ripe age, let her do what she 
wishes. (4) If she be of ripe age, let 
him do what he wishes. So far as I 
can see, there is nothing whatever in- 
side the verse to indicate which of 
these alternatives is correct. Some say 
that the imperative plural, ya/xetrwo-av, 
requires the understanding that the 
young man is guilty of shameful post- 
ponement of marriage when his 
fiancee is beyond the ripe age and he 
ought to get married to her; for this 
verb say, "let them get married"; but 
the verse makes equal if not better 
sense if understood to mean, "if any 
father acts shamefully towards his 
virgin daughter, if she be beyond a 
ripe age, what she wills, let her do. 
She does not commit sin; let them 
get married." Obviously if she is 
going to get married, there would 
have to be two of them, therefore 
the plural is justified. Now vs. 37 
says, "but if he stands firm in his 
heart and not having any necessity 
but has authority over his own will, 
and has decided in his own heart to 
keep his own virgin, he will do well." 
Some sharp-sighted observers have 
found in reading this verse that to 
consider it to refer to a father, the 
verse is a collection of grotesqueries 
— and I will admit that it does make 
a slightly humorous impression on 
me. But at the same time I find some 



difficulty in seeing the precise ap- 
propriateness of these conditions to 
the state of an eager suitor for the 
hand of a girl. Some have thought 
that it is unfitting to describe the 
daughter of a man as his own virgin. 
But I have never heard this particular 
kind of language used in reference to 
a fiancee.^ It could be that it was per- 
fectly appropriate in the first century 
for a young man to think of his 
fiancee as his own virgin; but as far 
as the dictionaries inform me, virgin 
was often used as a term for daugh- 
ter. Next, I have been hard put to 
see what is the sense of a young 
man's not having necessity when he 
is engaged to a girl that would make 
it possible for him to postpone mar- 
riage indefinitely. What kind of free- 
dom from necessity is involved here? 
Crudely, because of conditions that 
exist in our time, I think imm.ediate- 
ly of the idea that she is not preg- 
nant; but that is hardly what the 
Apostle Paul has in mind. And if he 
is thinking of freedom from emo- 
tional necessity, I can see that this 
means nothing but a state of tepid 
love which would justify their re- 
leasing each other from an engage- 
ment as well as postponing marriage. 
And then I find it slightly grotesque 
to think of this paragon of a lover 
having authority over his own will, 
which would seem to imply that he 

could just as well leave her as take 
her. I think it would be better to con- 
sider this verse as referring to her 
father also, when for some reason or 
other, as ancient fathers did, he has 
tried to determine the marriage 
destiny of his daughter. And perhaps 
under the spell of first-century Cbxtis- 
tian enthusiasm, he has committed 
himself, his wife, and his children to 
an absolute service of God with the 
idea that the Lord is likely to descend 
from the sky within the next year. 
Now he may be in the situation of 
finding that his daughter is perhaps 
interested in a young man but has 
not yet fallen in love with him, and 
he may be himself firm in his heart 
by believing that she should be kept 
single, and he may have the kind of 
relationship v/ith her by which his 
will does have authority in her miind, 
and thus he is not under necessity 
because she has not yet gotten com- 
mitted to love or the desire for mar- 
riage. Then he will do well to keep 
her as his virgin daughter. Possibly 
there is an additional note here that 
for all these reasons he has decided to 
continue to support her as his daugh- 
ter without making any attempt to 
get her married off. In this case he 
will do well. 

Now by interpreting the person in 
question as the father, the last verse 
makes perfect sense, for the word is 

''Wendland, Die Brief e an die Korinther, p. 58, follows Kummel in explaining it of a 



yafjLL^wv, which means "give in mar- 
riage" and does not mean "marry." 
There is no instance anywhere else in 
Greek literature for understanding 
yafxi^etv to mean "enter into mar- 
riage." Those who take it this way in 
this verse have to resort to a slight 
textual correction. They say that the 
iofa of this verb could have been con- 
fused with efa of the verb ya/^etv. The 
difficulty of this is that this mistake 
has to occur twice in the same verse; 
furthermore I see no form that would 
be so confused except the future 

participle of ya/xeti/ and this would 
produce the grammatical anomaly of 
having a man described as doing well 
before he does what he does. There- 
fore I think we are better off to 
understand the whole paragraph as 
referring to the father. 

The last two verses of the chapter 
deal with the obvious fact that a wife 
is bound to her husband as long as 
her husband lives but is free to marry 
after he dies. Yet Paul thinks she will 
be happier if she remains single. 

Toward Balance, Synthesis, and Understanding 

by Marion A. Fairman 

The French novelist Balzac 

had a neat classification for the hu- 
man species. All men, he said, fall 
into one of three categories; either 
doers, or thinkers, or poets and 
prophets. I see, however, quite a dis- 
tinction between poet and prophet. I 
would suggest, therefore, that mod- 
ern man may be classified in four 
categories: the doers, the thinkers, 
the poets, and the prophets. The doer 
makes society go. He builds the 
things society needs to function. In- 
deed, he is the guts of the social sys- 
tem. I should like for now, however, 
not to be concerned with the doer but 
with the thinker, the man of science, 
the poet, the man of humane letters, 
and the prophet, the man of religion. 
And with these symbolic names, I 
should like to mean not three pro- 
sessional people but three sets of 
mind; to consider the variety of dis- 
agreement among these disciplines; 
to explore the tragic implications of 
a three-way split in our Western so- 
ciety revealed by the attitudes of the 
men of science, the men of humane 
letters, and the men of religion. 

There is today a popular view of 
the thinker, the poet, and the proph- 
et. The people know that the thinker, 
the scientist, provides facts and 
theories that inaease man's knowl- 

edge of the natural universe. Society 
puts a high value on the man of 
science because his work has paid oflF 
in enormous material prosperity and 
in man's unprecedented ability to 
control nature. The man in the street, 
on the other hand, gives short shrift 
to poets and prophets. To him, a poet 
is a useless luxury, an impractical 
type who belongs to lovers, and to 
second-graders who need exercises to 
develop their memories. Parents have 
been known to faint, and neighbors 
have been known to look askance at 
anyone who thinks seriously of be- 
coming a poet. And as for the proph- 
et — well, the man on the street occa- 
sionally gives him lip-homage, espe- 
cially on Sundays; but frankly, the 
prophet gives the man on the street 
the creeping goose-flesh. To him, a 
prophet is a hoUow-eyed, Bible- 
toting, "Robert Hall" nut, a left-over 
from the age of superstition whom 
one must tolerate because he marries 
and buries. Perhaps the only place in 
modern society in which these three 
men m,ay be equally honored is in the 
halls of our colleges and universities. 
But even in academic haHs, we 
reluctantly admit areas of disagree- 
ment; we acknowledge an uneasiness 
over the three-way split in our so- 
ciety, a split which education in a 




curious way, probably because of its 
formal divisions, continues. This cu- 
rious separation among men of 
science, men of humane letters, and 
men of religion is, however, a mod- 
ern phenomenon. In the Middle 
Ages, from all I can read and under- 
stand, science, humanities, and reli- 
gion were strongly unified, a unifica- 
tion which, I have been informed, 
still largely prevails in the society of 
the Middle East, but a unification 
which surely must be under profound 
attack in the twentieth century. In 
the Western world, at least, from the 
seventeenth century on, a burgeoning 
science attacked the very foundations 
of letters and religion simultaneously. 
By the nineteenth century, the inroads 
of scientific thinking had forced 
literature into losing its prestige as a 
thing of value; poetry, for instance, 
had become simply that which enter- 
tains or beautifies, a degeneration of 
literature in "art for art's sake." In a 
similar way, the Copernican revolu- 
tion dealt a shattering blow to those 
religious men who had assumed the 
sun went around the earth and could 
be stopped in its tracks as Joshua 
claimed. Darwin's discoveries and his 
and others' subsequent writings so 
shook man's understanding of his 
natural world that, unfortunately, 
theology succumbed to the attack of 
science by arguing scripture on 
scientific grounds rather than from 
other, more defensible bases. 

In order to fight back against the 

attack of science, men of literature 
and men of theology joined forces in 
a quest for new values. Between 
them, they exposed the argument 
with science as a false conflict, argu- 
ing with great effect that both litera- 
ture and theology are about things 
which lie beyond scientific reasoning; 
suggesting that the poet and the 
prophet are not useless luxuries, but 
that both are essential to human life. 
Together, they insisted that the 
proper concerns of literature and 
theology are to express for man the 
meaning of life, to give to man his 
reason for being, to provide the ivhy 
of it all. Together, men of literature 
and men of theology ground out the 
validity of arriving at truth through 
intuition and vision; together, they 
exposed the fallacy that truth is only 
that which can be measured, pointed 
to, hammered, nailed, eaten, ex- 
pressed mathematically, or studied in 
a laboratory. They distinguished be- 
tween the primary world with which 
men of science are concerned, and 
that world of words wirh which the 
subjects of literature and theology 
are expressed, that secondary world 
which can be felt and expressed only 
in words. Words themselves, except- 
ing the language of mathematics, 
cannot penetrate the world of science. 
But by the same reasoning, the tools 
of science are only tools to enter the 
worlds of literature and religion. 

Then, in a curious turn of events, 
literature, especially in poetic form, 



more and more put itself forward as 
propheq^, perhaps because religion 
had been more seriously shaken by 
science than literature in that the 
very authority of Biblical revelation 
had been undermined by devastating, 
so-called "higher criticism." In any 
case, poetry attempted to fill the gap 
of disbelief opened by the attack of 
science on religion. Poetry tried to 
take the place of religion, a position 
most clearly articulated in the nine- 
teenth century by Matthew Arnold, 
who writes: 

The future of poetry is immense, be- 
cause in poetry, where it is worthy of 
its high destinies, our race, as time 
goes on, will find an ever surer and 
surer stay. There is not a creed w^hich 
is not shaken, not an accredited dogma 
which is not shown to be questionable, 
not a received tradition which does not 
threaten to dissolve. . . . More and 
more mankind will discover that we 
have to turn to poetr^'- to interpret life 
for us, to console us, to sustain us.^ 

Now, in the twentieth century, we 
know that literature was never ac- 
cepted as a substitute for religion. 
And today both the poet and the 
prophet agree that literature is not a 
"surrogate for religion"- and that, 
though similar in language, literature 
and religion "differ in intention."" 
But mutual suspicion is bred by this 
very similarity in the language, a 
similarity which will lend itself to 
our discussion. Theologian Krister 

Stendahl's definition of religious lan- 
guage has been helpful at this point; 
he makes a distinction which relates 
the language of religion to literamre 
as well as to science when he suggests 
that the language of religion is 
"poetry plus" rather than "science- 
minus." The suspicion lingers be- 
tween poet and prophet, however, 
further augmented by the tendencies 
of modern literature to concern itself 
with the predicament of man, hither- 
to the province of religion, and often, 
through its skeptical attitude, to 
specifically repudiate the most funda- 
mental and important religious be- 
liefs. Indeed, the poet and the proph- 
et frequently find themselves united 
only in their common envy of the 
thinker's prestige, a prestige for 
science which so permeates our so- 
ciety that knowledge which cannot be 
known by scientific study seems some- 
how to the undiscerning to be unreal, 
unncessary, and unwanted! 

Diversity may be seen among the 
thinker, the poet, and the prophet 
even in those things considered the 
virtues of each. To the thinker, to the 
man of science, the overwhelming 
virtue is intellectual detachment, that 
principle — indeed, the code of honor 
— by which he lives, that quality by 
which the subject is examined as an 
objective thing and dealt with by the 
human reason, that faculty by which 

^Matthew Arnold, "The Study of Poetry," Selected Essays (London, 1964), p. A6. 
-Cleanthe Brooks, "The Formalist Critics," Kenyan Review xiii (1951), 72. 
■■^Northrup Frye, Anatomy of Criticism (Princeton, 1957), p. 142. 



the examination is conducted without 
subjectivity and the evidence pre- 
sented without manipulation of the 
facts. Intellectual detachment, the 
ability to study the object and to 
report the results of rational evidence 
is prized as the supreme virtue of the 
man of science. 

The poet, however, has always 
known what psychology has lately 
taught us, that reason alone can never 
suffice. The supreme virtue of the 
poet is his imagination, that imagina- 
tion by which he gives shape, through 
words, to the chaos of life, that power 
by which he gives form to the aliena- 
tion man experiences from his 
natural world, his fellowman, and his 
god. That genius by which the poet 
infuses the structure through which 
man may see himself, his society, and 
his destiny is the poet's creative im- 
agination, his supreme virtue. 

The supreme virtue of the prophet 
is neither intellectual detachment nor 
creative imagination. The virtue of 
the man of religion is his concern, 
concern for those things not confined 
to time and space, his regard for those 
values Tiilich calls "ultimate," his 
insistence that the individual soul 
possesses mysterious possibilities be- 
yond reason, beyond imagination. 
The prophet cares about a world be- 
yond the primary world of the senses, 
beyond the secondary world of the 
imagination; the man of religion 
speaks of a world not seen, nor felt, 
but a world perceived, through faith. 

To recall man to his own finiteness, 
to suggest to man a way of trans- 
cendence, to offer man the "courage 
to be" is the heart's concern of the 
prophet, his supreme virtue. 

While the diversity of virtues in 
the thinker, the poet, and the prophet 
may at once suggest areas of mis- 
understanding, the tragic implications 
of such diversity are compounded 
when we realize that for each virtue 
there exists in each man a corre- 
sponding vice. If the virtue of the 
thinker is detachment, his vice is in- 
difference. For the scientist to slip 
into the role of innocent bystander, 
to separate himself from the world of 
men, to lose the precious value of 
persons, is a vice. Perhaps it is well 
to remember Buchenwald or Ausch- 
witz; whatever else we may wish to 
call it, the concentration camp was 
the realization of the scientific ideal, 
a terrible triumph of human ingenu- 
ity. Who, in what paralysis of in- 
difference, planned the gas chambers? 
Those gas chambers where six mil- 
lion Jews were dispatched? Who, 
with what scientific efficiency, de- 
signed the extraction rooms? Those 
rooms where the teeth of the cadavers 
Y^ere pulled out for gold? Who, with 
what objectivity, blue-printed the 
drains? Those drains which carried 
the blood off so smoothly? Were 
those thinkers, those men of science, 
good fathers, devoted sons, willing, 
indeed grateful to draw their plans, 
design their rooms, make their blue- 



prints so long as someone else would 
die instead of them? Indifference, the 
vice of the man of science, can build 
a world which enslaves men in mech- 
anistic determination, a world which 
disregards human value, a world of 
evil created by paralysis of the hu- 
man conscience, the human intelli- 
gence, and the human will. The Yice 
of indifference makes a mockery of 
the virtue of scientific detachment. 

If the virtue of the poet is his 
creative imagination, the vice of the 
man of literature is distortion of the 
image of man. The modern artist 
may and does produce works of great 
power; at the same time much mod- 
ern literature takes the reader on a 
guided tour through the wastelands 
of contemporary life, accompanied 
by a running commentary on man's 
personal disease, his cultural malaise, 
and his global peril. Of course, we 
expect our artists to write of their 
own and our discomfort and disillu- 
sionment; but we yearn for recogni- 
tion of the implications in man's col- 
lective tragedy much more than we 
desire reinforcement of the faceless 
hostility of the world. We look to our 
writers for some hint of how the self- 
enclosement of the ego may be 
broken, how we may gain release 
from the awful prison of our human 
plight. True enough, we want our 
poets, through their creative imagina- 
tion, to be true to man as man. But 
the vice of distortion leads to a dole- 
ful assessment of the world, a terrible 

looking inward; in vulgar language, 
a looking at our own bellybuttons, an 
introversion which is a kind of sick- 
ness in itself, scarcely less perilous 
than the complacency it wishes to 
exorcise. Distortion, that vice of the 
poet, leads man to and leaves him in 
despair, that black cloud that hangs 
over twentieth century literature. 

If the virtue of the prophet is con- 
cern, the vice of the man of religion 
is anxiety, an anxiety to safeguard his 
belief at all costs, a too-quick defense 
sometimes falling into sentimental 
piety, a too-easy wiping away of 
man's responsibility for his own be- 
havior, a too-easy ignoring of the 
evil in the world. More often, how- 
ever, anxiety, the vice of the man of 
religion, denigrates the proper ave- 
nues of religion into a kind of un- 
yielding dehumanization. If called 
upon to speak out for mankind, the 
prophet who rigidly identifies his 
belief with an organization or a hier- 
archy may be led, through the vice 
of anxiety, to undeviating conformity 
to the organization, to a defense of 
the hierarchy as though he were 
somehow defending the honor of 
God. Thus, in the early days of 
America, the New England clergy 
banished Anne Hutchinson and 
Roger Williams, doomed sinners to 
torture and mutilation, even, most 
inglorious of American religious his- 
tories, burned "witches" at the stake. 
In our recent world history, we have 
seen Pope Pius XII struggle "to the 



point of suffering," as he has written, 
only to finally decline to speak out 
against the Nazis for the slaughter of 
the Jews. Often, this vice of anxiety 
takes the form of an immovable 
theological position. One kind of 
religious man is clearly labeled the 
fundamentalist, but v/e forget some- 
times that the liberal stands also un- 
bending in his uncritical cultural 
optimism. For that matter, the "God- 
is-Dead" theologians are evidently 
just as fixed in the inflexibility of cul- 
tural pessimism. The vice of anxiety 
may take another stringent, personal 
form. Many persons have been vic- 
timized by a kind of religious im- 
prisonment, v/hich regards any in- 
terest besides religion as either super- 
fluous or blasphemous. Thus, reli- 
gion, conceived of as a liberating 
force, through the vice of anxiety 
can deteriorate into an enslavement, 
which prevents the fullest develop- 
ment of man's highest powers in his 
individual and social aspects. 

The challenge to the thinker, the 
poet, and the prophet is to work -for 
a total view of man's natural world, 
of man's life, of his ultimate destiny. 
Somehow, a balance of intelluctual 
detachment, creative imagination, and 
the heart's concern must be achieved. 
The virtues of the man of science, the 
man of letters, and the man of reli- 
gion must be simultaneously affirmed; 
thinker, poet, and prophet must some- 
how complement each other; each 
must hold the virtues of the others in 

paradoxical tension. In a similar way, 
the vices of the thinker, the poet, and 
the prophet must be vigorously de- 
nied. With no reluctance and no 
fear, thinker, poet, and prophet must 
scorn indifference, distortion, and 
anxiety, whenever and wherever they 
arise. It requires courage to live in 
paradox, the highest courage to affirm 
at one time the value of the natural 
world, the value of man's social 
world, and the world of eternal value. 
But each man needs the world of ap- 
pearance so vital to the thinker; he 
needs the world of imagination 
brought into being by the creative 
artist; consciously or unconsciously, 
he needs that world of ultimate 
meaning witnessed to by the prophet, 
that world which gives man his rea- 
son for being. If the thinker, the poet, 
the prophet, can, with generosity, 
assert as valid the virtues of detach- 
ment, imagination, and concern; and 
if they can, with courage, refuse to 
yield to indifference, distortion, and 
anxiety, an area of tolerance may be 
achieved, a genuine tolerance, a crea- 
tive tolerance which allows a total 
view of life, a life of freedom which 
permits, indeed encourages man to 
explore his natural world, his social 
world, and his world of eternity. 

If we are living through, as I be- 
lieve we are, what Jean Paul Sartre 
calls an "extreme situation," and if 
the great and sobering fact of our 
time is, as Stanley Romaine Hopper 
suggests, that we are in grave danger 


of drowning in tidal forces 'powerful afford the unhappy split among 
enough ... to nullify the bequest of thinker, poet, and prophet, 
centuries,"^ then we simply cannot 

•^Stanley Romaine Hopper, The Crisis of Faith (Nashville, 1944), p. 15. 



A Seminary Graduation Prayer — Concluded 

others. Lay hold of each of them, and do not let them go. May Thy fatherly 
care shield them, the love of Thy dear son preserve them from evil, and Thy 
Holy Spirit be ever present to guide them. And may they never turn aside 
because of the weather they meet, but continue to praise and serve Thee 
i-hrough Jesus Christ the Lord. 

— Dr. Andrew T. Roy, 
Pittsburgh, May, 1966 

Book Reviews and Notes 

Cassels, Louis. Your Bible. Garden City, N. Y.; Doubleday, 1967, Pp. y^wii 
+ 267. $4.95. 

Chifflot, T. G. Water in the Wilderness. Understanding the Bible. Translated 
by Luke O'Neill. Foreword by Ignatius Hunt, O.S.B. New York: Herder and 
Herder, 1967. Pp. 141. $3.95. 

Fisher, Fred L. Hotu to Interpret the New Testament. Philadelphia: West- 
minster, 1966. Pp. 172. s$3.95. 

A spate of books has appeared 
essaying to help the uninitiated make 
the best use of his Bible study. The 
three considered here are diverse in 
origin, concept, and method; but each 
has its particular use. 

Cassels is a widely-read newspaper 
columnist. One of his earlier books 
was noted in Perspective (March, 
1965, p. 40). The heart of this pres- 
ent book is a proposed reading plan. 
After some very brief suggestions as 
to how to go about reading the Bible, 
the books of the Bible are introduced 
in an order which the author thinks 
will foster comprehension and inter- 
est. He begins with Luke-Acts and 
goes through the New Testament be- 
fore tackling the Old Testament and 

The book should appeal to laymen 
with scant Bible knowledge. Unfor- 
tunately, there are questions to be 
raised about Cassels' notes. He is not 
abreast of scholarship on the Johan- 
nine literature; he recognizes that 

there are problems about Apostolic 
authorship, but he does not come to 
tenable conclusions. This reviewer 
would dispute the author's judgment 
"to pass lightly over" Revelation. He 
suggests that 2 Peter and Jude re- 
flect "some borrowing . . .one way 
or the other"; yet Jude is dated 
"around A.D. 80" while 2 Peter is 
confidently placed in the second cen- 
tury. The source of a substantial 
quotation from Bruce Metzger (p. 
114) is nowhere identified. 

Father Chifflot was general editor 
of the Bible de Jerusalem (see last 
Perspective) and writes with clarity 
and fine literary sensitivity. This is a 
substantial little book which should 
be enlightening and inspiring to all 
Bible students and should be of par- 
ticular interest to Protestants since it 
reflects a Roman Catholic approach. 

This is almost a "theology" of 
Bible study. Some sections are quasi- 
devotional (e.g., "The Bible Is the 
Book of Prayer"). Other parts are 




quite reflective and require very care- 
ful attention. Some of the questions 
and approaches grow out of the 
Roman Catholic situation and will 
get by many others readers: still, they 
are profitable to think through (e.g., 
"The Bible is a mirror because, like 
Veronica's Veil, it preserves this 
image [ of Jesus} for us"). "We are 
reminded again how important Bible 
study has become in Catholicism to- 

Fisher is a Baptist who has pub- 
lished with Westminster before. His 
present book is a very detailed "how- 
to" guide. He considers biblical inter- 
pretation in nine "steps" which are 
presented in some detail. There is 
help for the beginner and challenge 
for the more advanced student. 

Every teacher has his own pet ap- 
proach; so it may be unfair to be 
critical. Tliere is some fine instruc- 
tion in this book, but the reviewer 
offers several comments. First, from 
the standpoint of the unskilled begin- 
ner, there is too much and too little: 
too much technical detail ("synec- 
doche," "zeugma," "brachyology," etc., 
in Step 6. ) ; and too little simply de- 

tailed procedure (Fisher arrives too 
quickly at some results). Second, al- 
though a wealth of bibliographical 
data has been introduced, the selec- 
tion is sometimes open to serious 
question; and one wonders if it 
might not be better to concentrate on 
fewer books and demonstrate their 
value and use at greater length — the 
layman is easily discouraged by a 
barrage of titles. Third, the develop- 
ment of some points is likely to 
prove tedious for many readers. Per- 
haps the author's choice of examples 
is not always wise. Galatians 3:1-3 
might not be the best passage to illus- 
trate "Procedures of Interpretation" 
for beginners. Finally, there are 
several t}^pographical blunders — 
Griesbach misspelled, p. 53; "of" for 
"or," line 13, p. 105; Constructio 
praegnans garbled, p. 130 — and an 
index would be very helpful in such 
a book. 

A final suggestion: these books are 
valuable but are no substitute for a 
teacher-instruction situation. Church 
staffs should regularly provide such 
direction, and laymen may with good 
conscience prod for such help. 

Elliott, Melvin E. The Language of the King James Bible. Garden City, N. Y.; 
Doubleday, 1967. Pp. x + 227. $4.95 ( indexed $5.95 ) . 

"A concise, highly practical glos- 
sary explaining and translating every 
archaic or difficult-to-understand 
word or phrase in the King James 

Bible." This is a beautifully produced 
book, but one must ask why. Every- 
one who is interested has long since 
known that KJV has many words and 



expressions that make it difficult to 
read today. This suggests the ques- 
tion, "Who needs this book?" 

For the modern reader there are 
many helpful translations, especially 
RSV; so why fight the problems of 
reading KJV unless it is for interest 
in its literary influence — and then 
one would think that the Oxford 
Universal Dictionary might be a 
more valuable aid. KJV is still widely 
used m liturgical situations, probably 
with justification; but in. such a set- 
ting this new book does not seem to 
be of any special value. 

But assuming that the book has a 
reason to be, it is open to other sub- 
stantial criticisms. The first that 
struck the reviewer was that it com- 
pletely ignores Bridges and Weigle's 
The Bible Word Book, which covers 

much of the same ground in very 
adequate fashion (422 pp.). The 
articles in the latter volume are 
mostly of greater length than those 
in Elliott's book, but he does not even 
mention the earlier work in the 

Some other strange matters ap- 
pear. Words are included which 
hardly seem archaic or hard to under- 
stand: "gnat," infidel," "Latin," 
"stink," "wafer." Minor changes in 
spelling are noted: "Handywork," 
"Jailor," "unreproveable." There is 
an eight-line entry on "Uncircum- 
cision" but no entry at all on "Cir- 
cumcision." There is a detailed entry 
on the phrase "pisseth against the 
wall" but none on "cover his feet." 

This is one of the books you can 
do without. 

Samuel, Athanasius Yeshue. Treasure of Qmnran. My Story of the Dead Sea 
Scrolls. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966. Pp. 208. |2.65 (paper). 

In "Perspective VII.2.39, we re- 
viewed John Trever's memoirs of the 
events connected with the coming to 
light of the famous scrolls. One 
might expect this book to be a de- 
tailed recounting of the same events 
by the man who purchased the first 
important group of scrolls when he 
was Syrian Metropolitan of Pales- 
tine and Trans Jordan. Actually, these 
details occupy less than a third of the 
pages, for the larger theme is the 
almost legendary tale of how a simple 

Mesopotamian village boy survived 
fantastic hardships and became the 
first Archbishop of the Syrian Ortho- 
dox Church in the United States and 

The author acknowledges that he 
has consciously reconstructed many 
incidents; but the facts, he avers, are 
"historic and unquestionable." His 
autobiography develops in the his- 
tory of the Middle East in this cen- 
tury, and \i is interpreted by one who 
had human cause to write with deep 



bias but who has managed to spread 
over all a veil of Christian charity. 

Archbishop Samuel professes to 
have had a long-time dream of 
ancient records in the desert, a hope 
stimulated by patristic allusions in 
jOrigen's Hexapla and in a record of 
Timotheos Catholicos. He recounts 
with excited memory the events 
which finally brought him to the 
American School with his scrolls. He 
speaks of Drs. Trever and Brownlee 
as "my sons," and Brov^^nlee has 
written a helpful foreword. The au- 
thor is less polemical than Trever; 
and although he hints at the scholarly 
skirmishes which finally brought the 
scrolls to Israeli Jerusalem, he is re- 
markably objective in his synoptic, 
ecumenical view of the role of the 
scrolls in our historical and spiritual 

The good Archbishop writes with 

a Semitic flair. His prose will be too 
florid for some readers — for example: 
"when the sun sucked his colors from 
the sky, the majesty of the mountains 
subtly increased as the crepuscular 
haze revealed the many cell-like 
recesses of the hillside barrens." But 
some will admit to enjoying a few 
hours with a writer who "lets him- 
self go" and wrings beauty and senti- 
ment from his vivid memory. 

The book is illustrated, with His 
Grace appearing as regularly as the 
scrolls. There are a few notes on un- 
published fragments, probably of 
value only in context. There are a 
nimiber of minor typographic errors 
in the text. But in this time, when 
almost all of the scroll publications 
are scholarly contributions, one wel- 
comes this moving, human story. 

— /. A. Walther. 

Constantelos, Demetrios J. The Greek Orthodox Church: Faith, History, and 
Practice. New York: Seabury Press, 1967. Pp. 124 + bibliography. $3.50. 

This short book is an able sum- 
mary of the form and history of the 
Greek Orthodox faith. It is a very 
clear and easy-to-read presentation, 
and one will find it lively in spots. 

A book like this is interesting be- 
cause of the added privilege it aflfords 
the reader to understand the mind- 

set of a Greek Orthodox writer. Sev- 
eral things are noticeable. For in- 
stance, the lamentable distinction 
made in modern biblical theology 
between Hellenistic and Hebrew 
thought is completely overlooked. 
The author offers Hellenic culture as 
the norm for Christian thought, and 



rushes in where most Western writers 
fear to tread. He revels in the fact 
that Christianity was fully born in 
Greek culture, whereas most of us 
have learned at least to turn up our 
noses at this association. Again, he 
flatly asserts that Greek Orthodoxy is 
the true and right faith and practice 
of Christianity; this is somewhat re- 
freshing in an enlightened age such 
as ours which fears to make such 
claims to Truth. 

The book seems to be written for 
two purposes: the first is to inform 
the reader that Greek Orthodoxy is 
the oldest and therefore purest form 
of Christianity; the second is to de- 
fend Greek Orthodoxy from those 
cultured despisers who say it has no 

social relevance. A possible third pur- 
pose in writing was to plead for 
official recognition as a separate faith 
v/ithin American religion. The chap- 
ter on what the Orthodox faith of- 
fers modern man is well-written. The 
book is marred by an undercurrent of 
protest that Greek Orthodoxy has 
been much-maligned in the past. Un- 
fortunately, it is also overpriced in 
the cloth edition. I commend this 
book as an interesting introduction to 
the Greek Orthodox Church and the 
mind of its constituents; but it should 
be supplemented by some of the 
bigger books on the subject, e.g., 
Timothy Ware's T/oe Orthodox 
C/ourcb (Baltimore: Pelican, 1963.). 

Loew, Ralph W. The Lutheran Way of Life. Englewood Cliffs, N. J. : Prentice- 
Hall, 1966. Pp. 164. 

Dr. Loew has done an admirable 
job with a difiicult task: presenting 
in popular narrative a theological 
position. He has fallen neither into 
the Scyila of over-simplification nor 
into the Charybdis of obscurity. For- 
tunately, the subject matter presents 
no great problems, for Lutheranism 
is remarkably uniform. Yet it takes a 
good writer to bring out this uni- 
formity. Dr. Loew (whose long-time 
weekly column appears in the Sun- 
day Pittsburgh Press ) is such a writer. 

The book emphasizes the cardinal 
tenets of Lutheran theology in easy 

fashion, proceeding from the ques- 
tions Luther re-emphasized in mat- 
ters of faith and concluding with 
notes on the current Lutheran at- 
tempts to speak to contemporary cul- 
ture. There are chapters on Justifica- 
tion, Grace, Word and Sacraments, 
and the Lutheran understanding of 
vocation. There are two historical 
chapters on the Reformation and the 
"American Translation" of Lutheran- 
ism. There is a fine chapter on wor- 
ship which comes, appropriately, at 
the beginning of the book, and 
which will help non-Lutherans under- 



stand why we have retained the his- 
toric liturgy. Loew shows, in this 
chapter, why Lutherans feel their 
theology is most notably expressed 
in their liturgy, which demonstrates 
that "Faith is a lively reckless con- 
fidence in the grace of God" (p. 17). 
The chapter on Sacraments explains 
well the "peculiar" Lutheran under- 
standing of the real presence of 
Christ in the Eucharist, a doctrine 
which has always been, for both our 
Reformed and Roman brethren, hard 
to understand. Dr. Loew's good 
journalistic style and apt quotations 
make this a very good book for any 
interested reader; it is better than the 
dime-a-dozen "What is X" books 
that yearly clog book stores. 

Two criticisms must be made: 1) 
In a book purposely written for non- 
Lutheran laymen, a chapter should be 
included on the history and nature of 
our Confessions. In a sense, the Lu- 
theran Church is more bound to its 
confessions than other Protestant de- 
nominations. This fact and the Con- 
fessions themselves should be ex- 
plained in more detail for non- 
Lutherans. 2) In an age when ecu- 
m.enism is a fact of life, would it not 
be helpful to explain points at which 
there are differences of doctrine yet 
unresolved between Lutherans and 
others? It seems to the reviev/er that 

this would be helpful for non- 
Lutheran readers, particularly as the 
tendency is frequently to wink at 

Corrections: p. 56: "demytholiza- 
tion" should read "demythologiza- 
tion"; p. 125: "Linbeck" should read 
"Lindbeck"; p. 121: Walther came to 
Missouri in 1839, not 1841; p. 184: 
Coates, Tomas, should read Coates, 
Thomas; p. 185: Albert Standerman 
should read Albert Stauderman; p. 
188: note 6 is missing the page 

On p. 118, the impression is erro- 
neously (and no doubt uninten- 
tionally) given that Luther wrote the 
Augsburg Confession. On p. 11, the 
Lutheran Confessions should include 
the three ecumenical creeds (Apos- 
tles', Nicene, Athanasian) and the 
Apology of the Augsburg Confes- 
sion. It is, further, erroneous to say 
that "the Large and Small Catechism 
mark the core of a theological stabil- 
ity" (p. 11), v/hen the statem.ents of 
Lutheran churches throughout the 
world acknowledge the Augsburg 
Confession and the Small Catechism 
as our "core" confessions. 

If you are seeking an accurate and 
readable treatment of Lutheranism 
for your own or your church's li- 
brary, this is the latest and best of its 
popular milieu. 



Hughes, P. E. Theology of the English Reformers. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 
1965. Pp. 262. $5.95. 

Philip E. Hughes is to be admired 
for bringing out books which fill a 
void in our theological learning. He 
was the editor of Creative Mitzds in 
Contemporary Theology (see Per- 
spective, VIII.2.54) which filled a 
void with respect to the overall 
aspects of the theology of some great 
theologians of this century. Now, in 
Theology of the English Reformers, 
he has given us a truly needed work, 
and one which is, to my knowledge, 
unique in its field. 

The book is precisely what its title 
implies. The work of Hughes has 
been that of compiling and editing 
the very best writing of the many 
English Reformers: Cranmer, Jewel, 
and Latimer received most of the 
space. He seems to have been able to 
giYQ us not only the best quotes from 
these men, but also to have been able 
to tell which of them are more im- 
portant to stress in a work such as 

Hughes' own contribution to the 
study has been that of systematiza- 
tion. He has culled theological prin- 
ciples from the Reformers, and he 
himself has then taken the respon- 
sibility to place them in order. There 
are seven long chapters: Holy Scrip- 
ture, Justification, Sanctification, 

Preaching and Worship, Ministry, 
the Sacraments, and Church and 
State. One may quarrel with the order 
but certainly not with the content. 
The book represents a rather con- 
servative evangelical approach to the 
theology of the English Reformers, 
however. Anglo-Catholics will not 
be entirely satisfied, particularly with 
the chapter on the Sacraments. More- 
over, the "prophetic" is generally 
elevated over the "sacramental" 
throughout the book. This should not 
detract, however, from its overall use- 

This is a book which the reviewer 
feels deserves a place on the shelf of 
any student, minister or layman, v/ho 
would normally buy a book that at- 
tempts to give an overall picture of 
the theology of any of the branches 
of Protestant faith. It fills a needed 
void, as works on Angelican theology 
in general are rare indeed. Hughes' 
book certainly ought to be read by 
anyone who feels that the Episcopal 
Church has very little or no "theol- 
ogy." The topical index also contains 
short biographical sketches on the 
theologians cited, which are very 
helpful. The inclusion of a Scripture 
index would have enhanced the book. 
— Jay C. Rochelle} 

iPastor Rochelle is an ordained minister of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church; he 
serves a congregation in the North Hills of Pittsburgh and is pursuing Th.M. 
studies at this Seminary. 


Hitt, Russell T., ed. Heroic Colonial Christians. New York: Lippincott, 1966. 
Pp. 254 + intro. $4.95. 

This book is a collection of profiles 
on four of the greatest Colonial 
American ministers, two of whom 
were laborers in the Great Awaken- 
ing. The book deals with Jonathan 
Edwards, Gilbert Tennent, David 
Brainerd, and John Witherspoon. 

The essay on Jonathan Edwards is 
longer than the other three by at 
least fifty pages. Courtney Anderson 
presents a carefully drawn picture of 
Edwards, tracing his ancestry and his 
personal spiritual development. He 
deals most objectively with the forces 
that made Edwards one of the fore- 
most preachers in New England dur- 
ing his pastorate at Northampton for 
twenty-three years. The most helpful 
part of the essay is the careful analy- 
sis of Edwards' thought, as the au- 
thor considers the content of the 
important works: Divine and Super- 
natural Light, the Narrative, Relig- 
ious Affections, The Freedom of the 
Will, and other familiar writings. 

One feels the depth of Edwards' 
mysticism, the strength of his writing 
and preaching, the sadness of his 
being forced to leave Northampton 
to serve the Indians at Stockbridge, 
and the pathos of his vindication by 
being called as president of Prince- 
ton College only to contract smallpox 
and die before he could ever really 
assume the active duties of the presi- 
dency. The book is worth reading 


and owning if only for this one pro- 
file of Jonathan Edwards. 

Russell T. Hitt's essay on Gilbert 
Tennent is as much a history of the 
Old Side - New Side controversy 
which arose because of the Great 
Awakening as it is the profile of Ten- 
nent. To those interested in the 
perennial discussion between saving 
grace as a personal experience or an 
ecclesiastical afiiliation, the chapter 
is most informative and convinces the 
reader that while the church must 
operate to nurture the redeemed, the 
personal experience of conversion is 
the only valid one for acceptance of 
Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and 
for church membership. 

The chapter on David Brainerd by 
Clyde S. Kilby is the only one sup- 
plied with footnotes and references, 
which increase its usefulness. It con- 
tains an excellent seaion on 
Brainerd's attitude toward nature and 
people, demonstrating from the 
Diary and the Journal his almost 
complete lack of interest in or men- 
tion of any personal anecdote or ap- 
preciation of nature. Brainerd also 
never seems to have come to love the 
Indians to whom he ministered. 
There was a devotion to duty, a 
preaching of the Gospel, and a won- 
derful response by the Indians under 
the conviction of the Holy Spirit, but 
little evidence of what modern 



psychologists understand as rapport 
or identification between Brainerd 
and the Indians. Kiiby gives us a 
good analysis of the Diary and the 
Journals, which moved many men to 
missionary service. The chapter closes 
with a record of the influence of 
Brainerd, through Johathan Edwards' 
biography of him, on others who 
entered the ministry and the mission- 
ary service for Christ because of 
Brainerd's devotion to the Saviour. 

Writing on John Witherspoon, 
Henry W. Coray deals with the man 
of action both in Scotland and Amer- 
ica as preacher, educator, and patriot 
in the Continental Congress. We are 
treated to an insight into Wither- 
spoon's wit, his ability as a fund- 
raiser ( what Scotsman isn't? ) , and 
his place as a shrewd and capable 
public servant. The author of the 
chapter on Witherspoon does not 

deal as deeply with his subject's mind 
and spirit or the theology and faith 
underlying his active life as the 
reader wishes he might have. It is 
the picture of the active man, but a 
picture lacking in depth dimensions. 
We are given, however, an inspiring 
profile of one of America's most 
patriotic pastors, the only minister of 
the Gospel who signed the Declara- 
tion of Independence. 

One wishes that the editor had also 
included chapters on the two in- 
fluential British ministers of the 
Great Awakening in America, 
George Whitefield and John Wesley. 
An index, in addition to the brief 
bibliography given after each chap- 
ter, would have greatly improved the 
book in usefulness as a reference 

— M. Edwards Breed, '42, 
Jerseyville, Illinois. 

Brown, D. Mackenzie, ed. Ultimate Concern: Tillich in Dialogue. New York: 
Harper & Row, 1965. Pp. 220 + bibliography + index. $3.95. 

This book is the central discussion 
from a seminar in the Spring of 1963 
at the University of California, Santa 
Barbara. It was edited from tapes of 
the seminar, from which was omitted 
repetitive or extraneous material, 
and to which notes were added to 
clarify points or gbfQ references to 

works by Tillich or cited by him. It 
preserves the classroom setting very 
well. The book falls into a whole 
series of questions by students and 
some faculty, and answers by Tillich. 
There are eight dialogues, each of 
which forms a chapter of the book. 
In these dialogues most of Tillich's 



main concepts in theology are not 
only explained, but expanded by Paul 
Tillich himself. This book will prob- 
ably be, in the future, one of the 
easiest introductions to the thought 
of Paul Tillich available, supplanting 
jhis earlier Dynamics of Faith, which 
the reviewer has often considered the 
best introduction to his thought and 

Among things in the book one 
will find (First Dialogue) a very 
thorough explanation of Tillich's 
crucial phrase 

ing of ultimacy and concern, and sug- 
gestions for viable alternative phrases 
which capture the true meaning of 
"Ultimate Concern." In other discus- 

'Ultimate Concern," 
emphasis on the precise mean- 

sions, one will be led through the 
dialogue to understand other crucial 
terms of Tillich's theology, such as 
"idolatry" (Second Dialogue), "sym- 
bol" (Fourth Dialogue), "kairos" 
( Sixth Dialogue ) , and so on. 

In this book, Tillich emerges as a 
man who has much to offer from the 
vast storehouse of knowledge which 
filtered through his analytical and 
system^atic mind; but he also emerges 
as a man of wit, of dry humor, and a 
man who himself can be actually seen 
growing when a student asks a ques- 
tion which offers him a new insight 
or the chance to develop a new line 
of thought. This book captures Til- 
lich as he will best be remembered: 
as teacher par excellence. 

Tillich, Paul. The Future of Religio7is. Ed. by J. C. Brauer. New York: 
Harper & Row, 1966. Pp. 94 + pictures. $2.95. 

This is the first posthumous pub- 
lication of Paul Tillich's work. It con- 
tains three essays on the contribution 
of Paul Tillich to theology. The first 
is "Paul Tillich's Impact on Amer- 
ica," by Jerald C. Brauer. The second 
is "The Sources of Paul Tillich's 
Richness," by Wilhelm Pauck; and 
the last, "Paul Tillich and the His- 
tory of Religions," by Mircea Eliade. 

Four essays by Tillich, all of which 
are short, constitute a contribution in 
a novel form of theologizing. They 
are Tillich's initial attempts to come 
to grips with some of the problems 

of modern man. For example, the 
first essay, "The Effects of Space 
Exploration on Man's Condition and 
Stature" deals with the shift (as Til- 
lich puts it) from vertical relation- 
ships to horizontal relationships. Man 
now lives in a horizontal relationship 
and has gone about as far as he can 
go. Tillich's question in this area is 
regarding whether or not man's hori- 
zontal extension does not represent 
simply a kind of "forwardism" (as he 
calls it) without any real teles, any 
definitive goal. Two other essays, 
"Frontiers" and "The Decline and 



Validity of the Idea of Progress," ex- 
pand the philosophical encounter of 
theology with the fundamental as- 
pects of modern life. The last essay, 
"The Significance of the History of 
Religions for the Systematic Theolo- 
gian," is the last essay delivered in 
public by Tillich prior to his death 
on October 23, 1965. It is the out- 
growth of a course at the University 
of Chicago on Christianity and the 
History of Religions. It is a "break- 
tlirough" article, in that here Tillich 
for perhaps the first time began to 
rethink his systematic theology in 
dialogue with the non-Christian reli- 


gions. This volume of essays, though 
short, says much about the man Paul 
Tillich and about the richness and 
depth of his mind. It says further that 
Tillich was still creating, was still be- 
ginning to break into new things 
even at the time of his death. Per- 
haps in this sense the book carries its 
greatest weight. For The Future of 
Religions is not a book which will 
stand as influential among all Til- 
lich's works, yet it stands as a monu- 
ment to the fact that, as Brauer says 
in his article, "Paul Tillich stood 
alone as the interpreter of Christian 
faith to American culture." 

Tillich, Paul. Perspectives on 19th and 20th Century Protestant Theology. 
Ed. with Intro, by Carl E. Braaten. New York: Harper & Row, 1967. Pp. 
245. $5.95. 

This major posthumous work of 
Tillich contains lectures delivered at 
the Divinity School of the University 
of Chicago during the spring quarter 
in 1963. This book is destined to be- 
come immediately an indispensable 
tool both for historians and theolo- 
gians, since it is Tillich's way of 
showing the state of theology today 
on the basis of keen analysis of the 
culture and theology of the past. The 
title is somewhat of a misnomer, as 
Tillich digs beyond the 18th century 
into the Reformation — giving par- 
ticular attention to the Protestant 
Scholastics, for whom he has deep 
respect "because they knew all the 

right questions." 

To give a broad suggestion as to 
the shape of this work, we might say 
that Tillich begins with the rise of 
the Enlightenment, goes on to show 
the "classic-romantic reaction against 
the Enlightenment" (including sec- 
tions on Lessing, Schleiermacher, 
Hegel, et. al.) which gave rise to the 
"great synthesis," proceeds to the 
breakdown of the great synthesis 
through the split in the Hegelian 
school (through Strauss and Baur in 
the historical area, Feuerbach in 
anthropological approaches to reli- 
gion) which led to Kierkegaard, 
Marx (whom he discusses as a theo- 



logian), and Nietzsche. Following 
this breakdown, theology then had to 
find new ways of mediation, which 
were expressed in the Erlangen 
School, the "Back to Kant" move- 
ment, Harnack, and in our time 
through such representatives as Bult- 
mann, Troeltsch, and Earth. Tillich 
does not discuss his own theology 
here; he does not need to because it 
shows through what he calls his 
"dialogue with history." Especially do 
we see the thrust of Tillich himself 
in his very high estimate of Hegel 
and Schleiermacher (while pointing 
out where they failed), and his dis- 
satisfaction with both Bultmann 
(who should speak of "deliteralizing" 
instead of "demythologization," but 
who failed to move into systematics 
despite the help of Heidegger) and 
Barth (whose rejection of natural 
theology he sees as creating more 
problems than it solves). Tillich's 
alliance with the Middle Ages also 
pokes through in his high estimate of 
its mysticism, which he considers an 
essential ingredient in religion. 

Tillich's approach seems to be 
based on several principles. One of 
these is that all history has an inner 
telos, or "end"; and a given period of 

history must be interpreted on the 
basis of and in the light of its telos. 
The second principle is that the his- 
tory of recent theology is a contin- 
uous series of attempts to unite the 
diverging elements of the modern 
mind. The third is that "all the theo- 
logians, especially the great ones, will 
try to answer the question: What is 
the relation between the classical and 
the humanist traditions?" (p. 4). 
The interpretation takes shape in the 
first part as Tillich discusses the rise 
of the "classical" and "humanist" 
traditions ("classical" in his terms is 
a somewhat broader synonym for 
"orthodox" ) . 

This is a brilliantly written book. 
The thumbnail interpretations of the 
individuals mentioned above would 
be worth the price of the book, but 
its true greatness lies in Tillich's 
ability to discern the inner dynamics 
of Protestant thought during these 
two critical centuries in our tradi- 
tion. An ancillary benefit is, of course, 
that this book will answer the ques- 
tion, "Why did Tillich's own theol- 
ogy take the final shape expressed in 
the three volumes of Systematic 

— Jay C. Rochelle. 



Sharpe, Wm. D. Medicine and the Ministry. New York: Appleton-Century, 
1966. Pp. ix + 356 + selected bibliography and index. $6.95. 

A physician and assistant professor 
of pathology has written this book 
intended to be a medical basis for 
pastoral care. As such it is much 
needed and it fulfills to a consider- 
able extent its purpose. This is a cu- 
rious book in that it is splendid in 
some sections, rather commonplace 
in a few, and here and there contains 
some remarkable lapses in grammat- 
ical construction. 

Chapters five through seven are 
worth the price of the book. They 
deal descriptively with neurotic re- 
actions, psychotic reactions, and so- 
ciopathic character disorders and they 
do so well and with so little jargon 
that they will become part of this 
reviewer's book list for seminary 
work. On pages 102-115, for ex- 
ample, the author pictures the com- 
pulsive personality with great clarity 
and focuses on the clergyman's rela- 
tion to this kind of person. Since the 
church has so many of these people 
and actually tends to support them 
in their compulsivity, the section is 
all the more valuable. The chapter on 
anxiety is good and especially its de- 
scription of the defenses the ego 
erects against anxiety. The clergyman 
needs to be aware of these defenses 
and their operations because they are 
also defenses against the communi- 
cating of the Gospel and the bring- 
ing of healing. The chapter which 

deals with some sexual problems of 
pastoral concern should be very help- 
ful on three problems: masturbation, 
homosexuality, and illegitimate preg- 
nancy. The final chapter is excellent 
as it treats of the aging process, 
terminal illness, death and grief. This 
is empathic writing; the doctor has 
been there in a form of ministry 
other than medicine! 

There are parts of the book which 
do not measure up to these. For ex- 
ample, the chapter on Counseling 
and Interviewing leaves much to be 
desired. The suggestion that a wom- 
an will be interviewed in her home 
only if her husband or another rela- 
tion is at hand (p. 194) seems 
written out of another time. Perhaps 
the ethics of the doctor when ex- 
amining females is insinuated into 
the clergy's role. Or the proposal that 
the clergyman may properly termi- 
nate the relationship when \x. is with 
a flirtatious and seductive woman by 
referring her to her physician (p. 
198) vitiates pastoral counseling. 
Rather, the flirtations or seductive 
mode of working of the woman 
should become part of the counseling 
agenda as the pastor brings it out 
into the open so that it can be 
properly and realistically explored. 
Nevertheless, there are so many 
competent pieces of writing on 
counseling and interviewing that one 



feels no great loss in this chapter. 
And the same can be said about the 
section on adolescence. While it is 
patchy and sketchy, there are superb 
treatments of this stage by other phy- 
sicians so that one does not need to 
find satisfaction here. 

Dr. Sharpe does not seem to fare 
so well when he moves away from 
the medical and descriptive aspects 
of his work and begins to suggest 
along psychotherapeutic and pastoral 
caring lines. His statement that the 
outlook for a hysterical patient is not 
hopeful (p. 73) is simply contrary to 
established therapeutic practice. His 
position as stated in the following is 
open to serious question: "Mental 
deficiency is absolute or relative; 
some people are so slow mentally 
that they could not manage their own 
affairs in any society, how- 
ever simple" (p. 76 — italics his). 
Much depends upon what "human 
society" means. If it means non- 
structured and non-institutional, his 
statement may stand. But the aity 
denies this meaning. Within an in- 
stitutional structure which is also a 
human society the mentally retarded 
by and large can learn to manage 
their own affairs under caring super- 
vision. When he counsels the clergy- 
man to remain "firm, taciturn, and 
aloof" (p. 74) in dealing with the 
hysterical person, he rightly antici- 
pates that little improvement will 
follow. (Another physician, Tournier, 
would have great difficulty with this 

approach to healing! ) Dr. Sharpe's 
dogmatic statement that a clergyman 
"must not probe anyone's fantasy life" 
(p. 95) is also open to serious ques- 
tion. Part of the problem, of course, 
is what is meant by "probe." If a 
clergyman has expertise in pastoral 
counseling, he will wisely and care- 
fully use a client's fantasy life in his 
counseling of that client. Fantasies 
are a vital part of the counseling ap- 
proach and belong to a skilled clergy- 
man's technique. The author's pro- 
posal that clergymen escort a person 
to the nearest hospital accident room 
if a physician is not available if that 
person contemplates, or talks about, 
or is afraid of suicide seems a piece 
of poor advice. A hospital accident 
room would be one of the least satis- 
factory places this reviewer can think 

Perhaps the author did not mean 
to be so all-inclusive as his writing 
suggests. There is support for this 
possibility because scattered through- 
out the book are lapses of style, in- 
complete sentences, utterances which 
need to be qualified, and sentences 
which do not make sense (e.g., pp. 62, 
65, 69, 282). These errata are not 
the pattern but they happen often 
enough to indicate that the author 
did not write so carefully as he 
might. Perhaps some of his unwise 
counsel should be seen in this light. 
At any rate, most of his attempts to 
give guidance to the pastor do make 
sense. This physician has some in- 



sight into the job of the clergy. The 
great strength of the book, however, 
is that the physician-author describes 
so aptly that part of the human situa- 

tion in which pastoral care is the 
primary form of ministry. 

— Gordon E. Jackson. 

Lloyd- Jones, D. Martyn. Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cures. Grand 
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965. Pp. 300. $3.95. 

Dr. Lloyd- Jones is a justly famous 
preacher who occupies the pulpit at 
Westminster Chapel in London, Eng- 
land. His best-known work is his 
tw^o-volume series on The Sermon on 
the Mount. 

Dr. Lloyd- Jones was a heart spe- 
cialist before entering the ministry, 
and his thorough acquaintance with 
the medical and psychiatric world 
helps to make this book of sermons 
both relevant and well-informed. 
Here one will find not the run-of-the- 
mill assertions regarding the relation 
between medicine and religion, but 
rather a carefully thought-through 
position based on prior knowledge of 
the situation. 

Spiritual Depression contains 
twenty-one sermons, each of which 
deals with some aspect of the central 
problem, which is the need for "a 
revived and joyful Church." Dr. 
Lloyd-Jones is appalled at the number 
of unhappy Christians who are to be 

found in the Churches, Christians 
whose Christianity is overlaid heavily 
by a veneer of pessimism. In this 
series of sermons he attempts to con- 
front the major underlying causes for 
such unhappiness or "spiritual de- 
pression" and suggests cures for 
these factors which have been ham- 
mered out of thorough exegesis of 
the Word of God. 

There is so much that is good in 
this book that one either has to write 
a short review and commend it 
wholeheartedly to interested readers, 
or else one must write a long review 
taking into consideration all the 
many suggestions and "cures" Dr. 
Lloyd-Jones proposes for anxiety over 
salvation, fear of the future, and so 
on. This reviewer chooses the former 
course: the book is well worth the 
small price. Read, mark, learn, and 
inwardly digest it! It may benefit 
your preaching, but at any event it 
will benefit you\ 



Boyd, Malcolm. Free to Live, Free to Die. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and 
Winston, 1967. Pp. 114. $3.95. 

If this book was intended as a 
stimulating sequel to Boyd's book of 
prayers, Are You Running with Me, 
Jesus?, it is disappointing. Those 
who enjoyed the former book (the 
reviewer included) wiU not find the 
same freshness, the same joie de vivre 
that was abundantly present in the 
prayers. Though there will be sec- 
tions of this book that are appealing 
(particularly the meditation for the 
morning of the 4th Day, the evening 
of the l4th day, and evening of the 
19th day), it falls short of what we 
have come to expect from Malcolm 

Free to Live, Free to Die is a book 
of meditations for a thirty-day month, 
containing on the average one half 
page for morning, noon, and evening 
of each day. The book is very down 
to earth in its meditations; some 

would say too down to earth in spots. 
It is an attempt, perhaps, to put into 
devotions what "religionless Chris- 
tianity" is all about. The judgment as 
to success or failure is left to the 

Those who are particularly enam- 
ored of Malcolm Boyd will, of course, 
think that this is one of his best 
works. The reviewer, however, sticks 
by his opinion: better things have 
come from Boyd's pen, and better 
things wiU again come in the future. 
Boyd, when he is good, is very, very 
good; but when he is less than good 
.... Perhaps what most injures the 
book is the lack of any procedure. 
One would expect a book of medita- 
tions to have some order, lead to 
some crescendo. This one doesn't. It 
is one sustained trumpet blast, and 
many of the notes are sour. 

Diem, Hermann. Kierkegaard. Richmond: John Knox, 1966. Pp. 124. 13.50. 

This little volume is well worth 
the price! It is by far the best intro- 
duction to the germinal thought of 
Kierkegaard to appear in English. It 
h very tough but highly rewarding 
reading. Diem has not only managed 
to expound Kierkegaard, but has also 
shown the development of his 
thought from Either /Or ( 1843 ) to the 

devastating comptnAhmi Attack Upon 
Christendom (1851-4); Kierkegaard 
truly appears here as the "lonely 
knight," whose calling it was to 
"introduce Christianity into Christen- 
dom." Indispensable for the novice 
and the advanced Christian existen- 

— Jay C. Rochelle. 



Wagoner, Walter D. The Seminary: Protestant and Catholic. New York: 
Sheed & Ward, 1966. Pp. 256. $6.00. 

This is a needed and helpful book 
in this age of dialog with our Roman 
Catholic brethren, for it gives an in- 
sight as to the route taken by our 
Roman Catholic counterparts in their 
theological training. It is done with 
a friendly spirit on the part of 
Walter Wagoner after visits to sev- 
eral dozen seminaries and conversa- 
tions with twice that number of 
Roman Catholic educators. It is not, 
however, truly a scientific or analy- 
tical study of Roman Catholic sem- 
inary life. Wagoner himself says that 
there are two ever-arching purposes 
to his study, "First, to ascertain which 
areas of Roman Catholic theological 
education may offer strength and 
assistance to Protestant theological 
education, and second, to mark out 
those areas of Roman Catholic theo- 
logical education which are being 
most debated by Catholics." 

It should be said at the outset, 
however, that the title is somewhat 
misleading. The book is about Ro- 
man Catholic seminaries, not Protes- 
tant, and the Protestant seminary is 
brought in only occasionally as a foil. 
This is not to weaken the impact of 
the book, however. The author him- 
self suggests that a companion vol- 
ume on the Protestant seminary 
should perhaps be written by a 
Roman Catholic. 

Wagoner outlines very succinctly 

the control over the Roman Catholic 
seminary that emanates from Rome 
by way of the "Sacred Congregation 
of Seminaries and Universities of 
Studies." The line of this control is 
clear and relentless. Pope Pius XII 
in 1956 wrote, "The professors of 
philosophy and theology, therefore, 
must be fully aware that they do not 
carry on their work in their own 
right and person, but exclusively in 
the name and authority of the Su- 
preme Magisterium, and that they 
perform this ministry under the 
watchful eye and guidance of this 
same Magisterium." As an aside the 
author points out that a Protestant 
seminary administrator should re- 
joice in the fact that he only has to 
be sensitive to the wishes of his 
faculty, the criticism^ of the students, 
and the quarterbacking of the grad- 
uates, for in the Roman Catholic 
administrator's life he must also 
worry about directives from the 
sacred congregation in Rome, the 
desires of his bishop, and that, "long, 
long tradition of seminary life v/hich 
began at Trent." 

Wagoner feels that the Roman 
Catholic seminary is firm in its con- 
viction that it is not primarily an 
intellectual center in the Church's 
life, but "primarily that place and 
those years wherein the seminarians 
are helped to devotional and spiritual 



maturity" and points out that we 
must understand this principle if we 
are to understand the priesthood and 
theological education itself in that 

The study reveals that there is 
within the seminaries a real concern 
about the geographical, cultural, and 
psychological isolation of the sem- 
inaries, also their apartness from the 
layman. He quotes a Roman Catholic 
layman as saying, for instance, 
"When you finish seminary are you 
in touch with the main thought 
forms and problems of the world, as 
well as with the content of the 
Christian gospel? Are you able to 
speak the language that we speak, to 
share our troubles, to understand our 
dilemmas, to enjoy our joys? Are you 
buried in the 13th or 15th centuries? 
Are you still living in the 19th cen- 
tury Ireland or the 18th century 
France? Do you regard the world as 
essentially spoiled and naughty? Is 
your spirit fed with a false self -right- 
eousness, nourished on closeted vir- 
tues? Do you expect us to react to 
you with the same instinctive genu- 
flection that you show to your sem- 
inary superiors?" It would seem to 
me that these are just as relevant 
questions for the Protestant seminary 
graduate in many cases. 

Mr. Wagoner also outlines the lay 
orders within the Roman Catholic 
Church and suggests that perhaps 
there is a lesson to be learned here 
for the Protestant. 

Mr. Wagoner makes his usual and 
expected point that the Roman Cath- 
olic seminary should seek a university 
setting (as should the Protestant 
seminary) and that it should perhaps 
be a part of the American Associa- 
tion of Theological Schools. I won- 
der if this would tend, however, to 
raise or further water down accredit- 
ing standards in light of the poor 
performance of the AATS in the 
"degree nomenclature" battle. 

In the chapter on celibacy and the 
Church militant, the author feels that 
the absence of women from seminar- 
ies obviously "makes it more difficult 
for the future priest to move with 
ease in intra-sexual society." And 
that "celibacy narrows the type and 
range of men who attend seminary 
and it eventually makes more difficult 
the relationship betvv^een clergy and 
laity." He feels that one of the great- 
est barriers to an increased number of 
Roman Catholic men coming into 
the clergy is the insistence on celi- 
bacy. He rightly sees, however, that 
a married clergy would lead to great 
economic stress within the Romian 
Catholic Church. 

Under his chapter headed "Ecu- 
m.enical Reflections" Mr. Wagoner 
sees within the Roman Catholic sem- 
inaries a satisfying increase in the 
number of Catholic-Protestant stu- 
dent body interchanges. He points 
out that Protestant theologians such 
as the Niebuhrs, Barth, and Tillich 
are being studied and that there has 



been an interchange of faculty be- 
tween Catholic and Protestant sem- 
inaries. It hurts me most that while 
Mr. Wagoner has a fine foreword in 
his book written by Roland E. 
Murphy, Catholic University, he does 
not make note in the body of the 
book that Roland was on our faculty 
for a year before going to the schools 
he does name as participating in such 

A series of five appendices catalog 
material that is of some interest, par- 
ticularly to the Protestant. I found 
the first appendix most helpful in 
that it outlined the educational divi- 
sions, from high school on up, of a 
typical Roman Catholic seminary 
student. I really felt that this should 
be in the body of the text rather than 
the appendix for it cleared up much 
of my misunderstanding when I 
finally came to it. Here he gives def- 
initions for major and minor sem- 

inaries, secular and religious orders, 
for instance. The second appendix is 
a rather exhaustive description of the 
various places of study in Rome 
where Mr. Wagoner feels more Prot- 
estants ought to go for advanced 
theological education. John L. Mc- 
Kenzie, S.J., has criticized Wagoner 
at this point, saying that he has 
"obviously been somewhat victimized 
by the Roman mystique" in thinking 
too highly of the institutions and 
libraries available in the city of 

Mr. Wagoner displays his ivy- 
league erudition by sprinkling the 
pages with Latin phrases, but apart 
from that it is generally an enlighten- 
ing book if you wish at least some 
understanding of what makes your 
Catholic counterpart tick — however, 
nee scire fas est omnia. 

—William R. Phillippe. 



Morrison, Clinton, and Barnes, David H. Neiv Testament Word Lists. Grand 
Rapids: Eerdmans, n.d. Pp. XV -|- 125. $2.95 (paper). 

Planned as an aid "for rapid read- 
ing of the Greek Testament," these 
lists were prepared initially for Mc- 
Cormick Seminary students "to en- 
courage summer reading." Included 
are words with a frequency less than 
en. They are provided for each chap- 
ter of each NT book except the 
Synoptic Gospels, where the lists fol- 
low the Huck-Lietzmann Synopsis 
sections. Basic definitions from the 
Arndt-Gingrich-Bauer Lexicon are 
furnished. Other conveniences in- 
clude an "Index of the Synoptic 
Parallels," a "Basic New Testament 
Vocabulary" (a check list of the 
words used ten or more times in the 
NT), "Principal Parts of Common 

Verbs," and a table of reference 
parallels for Aland's Synopsis. 

This book is at once an indispen- 
sable tool for all who want to make 
regular use of their Greek NT. The 
teaching staff at Pittsburgh Seminary 
has given it hearty endorsement and 
encourages its use as appropriate. 
Since over one third of NT vocab- 
ulary vv^ords occur only once, the 
handy value of this book would seem 
to require no further demonstration. 
If the price seems a little high for a 
paperback, consider the labor that 
has gone into the production of such 
an aid. 




December, 1967 
Volume VIII Number 4 


Volume VIII December, 1967 Number 4 

Published four times yearly in March, June, September and December, by 
the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 North Highland Avenue, Pitts- 
burgh, Pa. 15206, one of the seven seminaries of the United Presbyterian 
Church in the U. S. A. Second-class postage paid at Pittsburgh, Pa. Changes 
of address should be sent to the Seminary, care of the Direaor of the Mail- 
ing Department. 

Editor: James Arthur Walther, Th.D. 

Publications Committees 

Faculty Student 

Peter Fribley Robert V. Mathias, Chmn. 

R. L. Kelley, Jr., Chmn. 

J. A. Walther 
J. Rowe Hinsey, ex. off. Editorial 

William R. Atkins, ex. off. Dik^an Hadidian, Chmn. 

William R. Phillippe, ex. off. 

Circulation: William W. Hill 

Secretarial Assistant: Mrs. Elizabeth Eakin 


Ad Hoc 2 

From the President's Desk 3 

On the Significance of Science for Religious Thought 5 

by Harold K. Schilling 

The Claims of Our Heritage 23 

by Donald F. Campbell 

Book Reviews and Notes 

Eliade, From Primitives to Zen 28 

Norman Adams 

Myers, Invitation to the Old Testament 29 

Jay C. Rochelle 

Rolston, The "We Knows" of the Apostle Paul 30 

Mitton, The Epistle of James 30 

Howard Eshbaugh 

Peale, Jesus of Nazareth 32 

May, Our English Bible in the Making 33 

Swete, The Holy Spirit in the Ancient Church 33 

J. A. Walther 

Davies, The Early Christian Church 34 

Patterson, God and History in Early Christian Thought 34 

Dolan, History of the Reformation 35 

Carnell, The Burden of Soren Kierkegaard 37 

Jay C Rochelle 

Harrison, A Church Without God 38 

Lawson, Comprehensive Handbook of Christian Doctrine 39 

Charles C W. Idler 

Phillips, Christ for Us in the Theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer 40 

Smart, The Divided Mind of Modern Theology 40 

Tillich, Retrospect and Future 43 

Vogel, The Next Christian Epoch 43 

Smith, Questions of Religious Truth . 45 

Brown, The Ecumenical Revolution AG 

Read, The Pattern of Christ 47 

Jay C. Rochelle 

Pospishil, Divorce and Remarriage 47 

William H. Venable, Jr. 

Priester, Let's Talk About God 48 

Bessie M. Burrows 

Special List 49 

Books Received 54 

The Toy-Fixer 57 

A Poem by William Davis 

Ad Hoc 

■'■ ■ For two years Alumni Day has had a "new look," and the response 
has been encouraging. Last May 9th the principal address was presented by 
Harold K. Schilling, a Christian layman who holds the esteemed rank of 
University Professor at the Pennsylvania State University. He is a physicist 
whose research fields have been ultrasonics and the philosophy of science. His 
professional achievements are too numerous to list, and he has served the 
National Council of Churches and the United Church of Christ. His address, 
"Post-Modern Science: Its Significance for Christian Faith," was a great ex- 
perience in mind-stretching; and he fascinated his listeners with blackboard 
diagrams and illustrations. The substance of this message had appeared in an 
Abingdon Press book. Religion and Western Culture (edited by E. C. Cell) 
under the title "'On the Significance of Science for Religious Thought." We 
are happy to bring this to you by special permission of The Board of Educa- 
tion of The Methodist Church. 

Later in the day Donald Fisher Campbell, pastor of the First Presby- 
terian Church of Stamford, Connecticut (the famous "fish" church), and a 
member of the class of 1937, led a devotional service. We share his sermon 
with you. And we thank Mr. Phillippe, who secured both of these manu- 

This issue is the last under the present editorship. A study has been 
underway for some time looking to the increased effectiveness of our journal. 
Since the Editor will be on sabbatical leave beginning next June, Volume IX 
provides an opportune point to initiate changes. A newly appointed Editorial 
Committee of the Faculty will oversee the journal from now on, and detailed 
announcements will be made in the next issue. The Editor wishes to express 
his thanks: to the President for constant support and encouragement; to Mr. 
Enoch George of the Burgum Printing Company, whose invaluable help has 
been a silent contribution in every issue; to colleagues of the Faculty who 
have submitted articles, reviewed books, and helped on the Publications Com- 
mittee; to Mrs. Elizabeth Eakin and Mr. William Hill, who have so faithfully 
handled the mechanics of production and mailing at the Seminary; and finally 
to some 6,000 readers and friends who actually provide a raison d'etre for the 
journal. We look forward with enthusiasm and hope to the forthcoming 
volumes of Pittsburgh Perspective. 

—J. A. W. 

From the President's Desk 

Relevance continues to be the watchword of much popular current 
theology. So far as I can capture the "feel" of the use of this word, it seems 
to propose the approach of the "market analyst" in business. It is the func- 
tion of such a one to determine what the public v/ants, or thinks it needs, 
and to produce that. "Success" is determined by the "marketability" of the 
product. It is not the quality of the product but the number of people who 
buy it that is decisive. 

The experience of the Chrysler Corporation is a marked example of 
this. For some years Chrysler engineers believed that it was better to give the 
public a well-engineered car than a chrome-plated, poorly-engineered one. 
The firm almost went under. Market analysts finally rescued them by indicat- 
ing that people did not want a well- engineered car nearly so much as a 
streamlined, highly decorated machine which v/ould serve as a status symbol. 
So the Chrysler Corporation regained a fair share of the automobile trade by 
becoming responsive to public desires. 

In our time the public does not seem to respond to theological con- 
cerns. Men are not sure that there is a god. How, then, can they be interested 
in talk about him.^ The problem, as Peter Berger has stated it, is "how to 
perpetuate an institution whose reality presuppositions are no longer socially 
taken for granted" ( "The Sacred Ministry as a Learned Profession," Theology, 
October, 1967, p. 42). ... 

Faced with this problem, the choice of the "radical" theologians ssems 
to be clear. Accept the "reality presuppositions" of modern man and try to 
adjust theology to them. But can the adjustment be made in such fashion that 
it is anything more than a half-way station to the total disintegration of the 
theological enterprise? Berger suggests that if there is really no other, no 
one "out there," in Robinson's terms, then "one could do better things with 
one's tim.e than theology," and Karl Marx's example may be salutary: "When 
he was certain that . . . the critique of religion was finished, he did not bother 
with It any more, but went on to concern himself with other things" ("A 
Sociological View of the Secularization of Theology," Journal for the Scienti- 
fic Study of Religion, Spring number, 1967, p. 16) . 


The "radical" theologians, because of the dramatic nature of their views, 
will be widely discussed but will likely not take over the church. What seems 
to be happening, however, in the less radical segment of the church is a loss 
of nerve which is leading not so much to a drastic "adjustment" to modern 
reality concepts or a bold laying aside of theology, but the quiet retreat from 
it, an abandonment by default. 

This seems to be injfliuencing theological education at the point of new 
curricular proposals. To be "relevant," less time must be given to the classic 
theological disciplines and more to psychology, sociology, political action, etc. 
Does this not suggest that the theologian, as theologian, has little or nothing 
to offer to the world? Hence, the increasing desire to identify with other pro- 

Two cautions may perhaps be in order here. First, if the minister's train- 
ing neglects his own field of specialization in order to permit him to dabble in 
other men's fields, can he become sufficiently capable to be accepted by the 
professionals in these areas? Most certainly no minister in his right mind 
would think of tampering with other men medically, because such knowledge 
of medicine as he could gain in a few side courses in the field v/ould not 
accredit him to function in this capacity. Is there not a parallel in other pro- 
fessions? A recent article by a sociologist decried a best-seller volume of a 
sociologically oriented theologian because of the ineptness with which he 
bungled his sociological facts and theories. 

Second, if ministerial training belittles its unique field — theology — and 
gives a sort of smorgasbord curricular offering in the many fields now pro- 
posed, will not the minister finally work himself out of a job? G. R. Dunstan 
has recently pointed out that we ministers "have come to disbelieve in the 
knowledge characteristic of our profession, or indeed that there is any such 
knowledge .... if the coming church is to be left with a clerical body pos- 
sessing no distinct, characteristic, knowledge or belief, and no distinct pro- 
fessional character, then, I suppose there can be only one answer to such a 
question as this: What ministry has a clergyman to offer to a given parish- 
ioner whose ascertainable needs are being met satisfactorily by other profes- 
sional attendants, the medical by the doctors, the social by the social workers, 
the legal by the lawyers? What has the clergyman, as clergyman, to say to 

— Concluded on page 35. 

On the Significance of 
Science for Religious Thought 

by Harold K. Schilling 


Our question is whether or not 
contemporary science has any signif- 
icance for religious thought, and 
more specifically, whether its world 
view may have any bearing on the 
problem of how we shall think of 

Until rather recently this kind of 
question would have seemed super- 
fluous, if not downright impertinent, 
to many people, for to anyone who 
"believed in God" it seemed obvious 
that since He aeated the world, 
many aspects of His nature must 
necessarily be discernible through 
His handiwork. Indeed, there flour- 
ished then a branch of Christian 
thought, called natural theology, de- 
voted in large part to inferring or 
even "proving" God's existence, as 
well as His attributes, from man's 
knowledge of nature. 

Today that approach is suspect. At 
least in Protestant circles it is widely 
regarded as inadequate and undesir- 
able. For one thing, in retrospect its 
"proofs" now seem utterly uncon- 

vincing. For another, the God it con- 
ceived now looks more like the far 
distant, aloof, inactive God of deism 
than the near, living and loving God 
of the Bible. Moreover, from its point 
of view, the theology that took as its 
point of departure the revelatory 
event of the Christ often seemed in- 
congruous and intellectually embar- 
rassing. In turn from the point of 
view of "revelation theology" it 
seemed to miss the main point of the 
gospel and therefore to be largely 
irrelevant, or even erroneous. 

So it came about that natural 
theology was banished almost com- 
pletely from Protestant thought. It 
now begins to look, however, as 
though this has not turned out to be 
an unmixed blessing. For one conse- 
quence of it has been that many 
theologians seem to have lost interest 
in nature and its study, and have be- 
come so completely preoccupied with 
history as to giwQ the impression that 
it is the only locus of God's self- 
revealing activities. Science has thus 
come to have virtually no theological 
significance for them. This seems to 

See Ad Hoc, p. 2. 


have been the situation for several 


In the meantime science has been 
marching on, and a remarkable new 
world view has come into being 
based on its recent findings. This has 
created some serious problems for 
theology. Fortunately this develop- 
ment has been accompanied by the 
appearance on the theological hor- 
izon of a relatively small but growing 
cloud of revived interest in these 
matters. While there is no disposition 
among Protestant theologians to re- 
turn to anything like the old teleology- 
oriented natural theology, many of 
them are saying that we do need a 
theology of nature and of science. By 
this they seem to mean a theology 
that is based squarely on the revela- 
tion in Christ and God's "mighty 
deeds in history," and at the same 
time recognizes and seeks to under- 
stand God's "mighty deeds in nature" 
as these are related to history. 

Now as a scientist who has had the 
opportunity of observing a consider- 
able number of theologians in action 
as they have struggled with this prob- 
lem, I have come to appreciate some 
of their difficulties. For one thing, I 
can understand why it is not at all 
obvious to them how natural science 
can have any relevance for them. It 
proceeds — as they grant that it must — 
quite without regard to any "hypoth- 
esis of a God." The term God does 
not, therefore, belong to its technical 

vocabulary. In this sense it is utterly 
godless or secular. How then can it 
have any value technically for theol- 
ogy or contribute to its thought.^ 
Why then should theology be con- 
cerned with it.^ This is not an easy 
question. On the other hand, it is 
not the only question that is difficult. 
For this same secular science, with its 
new ways of thinking about the 
world is now characterized also by a 
new intellectual freedom and open- 
ness, by sharpened sensitivities and 
creativity in the humanistic sense, by 
genuine moral and ethical concerns, 
and it has deservedly become one of 
the most potent determinants of con- 
temporary life not only in its physical 
aspects, but in its spiritual ones as 
well. How can theolog)^ possibly fail 
to profit from the emergence and 
flowering of such a science? How can 
it possibly function properly in terms 
of its own purposes, and make its 
contribution to the life and work of 
the world, unless its thinking is some- 
how related closely to those ideals, 
concerns, images and modes of 
thought of our times that are molded 
to so a large an extent by science? 

It is my belief that there are many 
aspects of the new science and its 
conception of the world that are 
destined to become useful, or even 
indispensable, to Christian thought. 
In support of this belief I should like 
to call attention at this time to three 
of these, namely its depth, its un- 


houndedness or openness, and its 
mystery} We shall begin with mys- 


In a remarkably enlightened 
BOOK about the nature of theology, 
Karl Barth raises the interesting ques- 
tion of "how theology encounters a 
man — how it confronts him, and 
assumes concrete form in him."- His 
answer may be surprising, for he 
asserts that it begins with wonder — 
not, as is commonly supposed, with 
the submissive acceptance of a set of 
presuppositions or established doc- 
trinal beliefs. By wonder he means 
open-minded astonishment; and he 
discusses this in the following way. 
"Wonder occurs when someone en- 
counters a spiritual or natural phe- 
nomenon that he has never met be- 
fore — \.i: is for the moment something 
uncommon and strange and novel to 
him."" It is therefore the root of all 
true sciences, and theology is one of 
these. The amazement of science is 
provisional or temporary; for always, 
when it confronts a new phenomenon 
or mystery, science immediately seeks 
to explain Vi\ and as its understand- 
ing grows the mystery dissolves and 

the wonder disappears. In theology, 
however, he says, it is different; for 
there one encounters the mystery of 
God, and therefore wonder never 

Now it seems to me beyond doubt 
that what Barth says positively about 
theology itself is true, namely that its 
mystery is unfathomable and un- 
bounded. But I wonder whether what 
he says negatively in this respect 
about science is equally true. May 
Barth not be missing something 
when he asserts that nature is such 
that all its mystery necessarily dis- 
appears under the prolonged gaze of 


Perhaps those who, like Barth, 
insist on contrasting science and 
theology sharply with regard to 
wonder and mystery, do so because 
they hold to a conception of nature 
— and of science — that most scien- 
tists have abandoned. 

There was a time when the reign- 
ing conception of nature was one of 
rather simple order. It was supposed 
that the apparent complexities of 
visible nature could be explained by 
appealing to hidden basic simplici- 

^These three terms are not used widely in the technical discourse of scientists. They ?.re 
used by some and I can claim no credit for originating them. In my opinion they 
accurately connote the newer views. 

■-^Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 
1953) ; see especially pp. 63 ff. 




ties of substance and relationship. 
Thus according to the so-called New- 
tonian billiard ball conception of the 
world, as refined by Laplace, nature 
was thought to be explainable and its 
future completely predictable, at least 
in principle, in terms of very simple, 
unchanging elementary particles, and 
of abstract, synthesizing laws that 
described their motions. 

In a sense this was a shallow, closed 
and unmysterious world. It was 
shallow in the analogical sense that 
science was expected to find its final 
explanations relatively close to the 
surface of things. Certainly no one 
would have dreamt then of the many 
depths of penetration into physical 
reality to which science has had to 
push its inquiry since then. It was a 
closed world in the sense that in 
principle it could have no surprises 
that could not have been predicted. 
For it was thought to be completely 
determined. And it was unmysterious 
in the sense that it was felt that even- 
tually all questions about it could be 
answered — again, at least in prin- 
ciple. Final explanations were fully 
expected, certainly in their broad out- 
line, if not in complete detail, and 
perhaps in the form of a grand all- 
inclusive equation. Later this ex- 
tremely simple picture had to be 
modified for various reasons we can't 
go into now. Nevertheless, its gen- 
eral point of view, commonly re- 
ferred to as mechanistic and deter- 
ministic, persisted until late in the 

19th century, and had not completely 
disappeared early in the 20th. 

The conception being espoused by 
scientists today is very different. It 
views nature as a world of depth, not 
as a shallow one; as an unbounded 
world; not a closed one; and as a 
world of mystery that is in the end 
not fathomable. How extensive the 
implications of this view are becomes 
apparent when one thinks about 
some of the most basic questions of 
science, such as what is matter? Or 
energy, or life, or mind? None of 
these can be answered adequately by 
appealing to the idea of a simple and 
closed world. 

Consider, for example, the first of 
these: What is matter? Think how 
very much we mean by it today! To 
begin with, speaking quite unsophis- 
ticatedly, it is that primal stuff or 
reality that we become av/are of 
through our senses, and is the physi- 
cal basis of existence. It appears in 
various states, the solid, liquid, gas- 
eous, and plasma states, that have 
remarkably different attributes. To 
describe its internal structure we 
must mention a whole hierarchy of 
building blocks, fields of force, and 
dynamic micro-structures. If we were 
to subject a bit of matter, such as 
animal tissue, to microscopic and sub- 
microscopic analysis, our findings 
would have to refer to at least the 
following entities found at different 
depths of its interior: cells, proto- 
plasm, cell nuclei, chromosomes, 


genes, crystals, chemical compounds, 
chemical elements, molecules, atoms, 
atomic nuclei, electrons, protons, 
neutrons, and still other subatomic 

Clearly this picture does not im- 
press one with any shallow simplicity 
of the kind envisioned in either the 
early Newtonian conception or the 
later modified versions of it. Rather 
it is one of depths and of complexi- 
ties, and the greater the depth, the 
greater the complexity. It indicates 
also rich qualitative variety."^ This 
shows up in at least three ways. First, 
there is the large number of species 
of so-called particles that differ from 
one another in being heavy or light 
in mass; electrically positive, nega- 
tive or neutral; long- or short-lived; 
right- or left-handed in spin; and so 
on. Second, there is the variety in- 
dicated by the necessity of speaking 
of the subatomic entities as includ- 
ing not only particles but waves and 
fields. The third aspect of variety is 
displayed by the fact that going 
deeper discloses other kinds of real- 
ity, so to speak. Thus the realities of 
the microworld are so different in 
kind from those of the macroworld 
as to require radically different lan- 
guage, modes of thought, and theo- 
ries to deal with them. This is why 
we must say ambiguously that en- 
tities like molecules, atoms, and elec- 

trons are somewhat like particles and 
somewhat like waves. Nothing in the 
macroworld is like that. Then too 
there are in the microworld strange 
kinds of dynamic interactions and 
phenomena in which corpuscles of 
matter of various kinds appear or dis- 
appear; and to speak adequately of 
these we employ concepts like fusion, 
fission, and transmutation, and even 
the apparently paradoxical one of 
anti-matter. It is a most interesting 
situation when in discussing certain 
feamres of matter one must speak of 
anti-m.atter! And finally all this has 
led us to see that the ordinary laws 
of mechanics that apply to large 
bodies like stones and bullets, do not 
apply in the microworld; and this in 
turn has led us to invent a new kind 
of mechanics, namely quantum me- 
chanics, to deal with its phenomena. 
Now turning our attention in 
another direction, v/e note also that 
matter has the capacity for what I 
shall call aggregation. There is an 
endless hierarchy of aggregations of 
various sorts, e.g., aggregates called 
rocks, then those called planets, and 
then the stars, and at a higher level 
galaxies, and then even super- 
galaxies. Here too we see a succes- 
sion of depths and levels, this time 
as we penetrate "outward" and "up- 
ward," rather than "inward" and 
"downward," into the depths of space. 

*David Bohm in his Causality and Chance in Modern Physics (Harper Torchbook) 
uses the concept of "the qualitative infinity of nature" (p. 132 ff ) . 



Here too it must be noted that as 
we probe to greater depths, beyond 
the "surface appearance" of things, 
we do not find things to be simpler 
and simpler, as though converging 
toward some final simplicity, but 
more and more variegated, strange 
and complex. Beyond the so-called 
celestial sphere of nearby stars visible 
to the naked eye are depths of space 
and celestial expanse, each succes- 
sively disclosed concentric shell of 
which reveals greater numbers and 
complexities than the preceding one. 
The description of the strange reali- 
ties encountered by modern macro- 
astronomy has required the use of 
new ideas quite at variance with 
those of classical astrophysical theory. 

There are also depths in time, so 
to speak. Here we see matter in its 
temporal, evolutionary unfolding, in 
its transformation of hidden possibili- 
ties and potentialities into ever new- 
ly manifest actualities. According to 
present conceptions matter was "at 
the beginning," several billions of 
years ago,-"^ in the simple state of ele- 
mentary particles which later aggre- 
gated to form atoms. Still later some 
of these came together to form mole- 
cules. Then very long molecules ap- 
peared, capable of reproduction, thus 
exhibiting characteristics we attribute 
to life. Later cells and still larger 
organisms came forth, then mind, 

and finally social aggregations. Here 
is a most remarkable dimension or 
attribute of matter: this capacity to 
change in time, to manifest utterly 
new properties, phenomena and 
structures. For a long tim.e it was all 
inanimate, and then some of it be- 
came animate. According to con- 
temporary conceptions life is not an 
entity added to matter, but one of the 
states in which matter can exist. And 
similar remarks apply to mind. 

No doubt in the future science will 
devote more and more of its atten- 
tion to the investigation of life and 
mind. Already the biologists and 
psychologists are probing them at 
great depths, and the deeper they go 
the more complex and unbounded 
things seem to be. Indeed the concept 
of depth seems to have come into 
scientific language first through the 
term depth psychology. Without a 
doubt these explorations will further 
confirm the general conclusions about 
nature that we have drawn thus far 
mostly from advances in the physical 


At THIS POINT k will be useful to 
bring together the ideas developed 
thus far by means of a few summariz- 
ing propositions. 

PI. Nature has extension not only 

^There are scientists who speak also of a still earlier stage in the history of nature, 
i.e., when there was no matter at all, after which it then appeared. 



in space ai2d time, but also in depth, 
or interiority. In support of this, ix. 
is necessary to point out only that 
science has always been an enterprise 
in probing beneath the surface ap- 
pearance of things to discover more 
basic, constituent realities.'^ 

P2. In its depth the reality of na- 
ture has many recognizably different 

P3. Its depth is characterized by 
great complexity and rich variety. 

P4. l^he degree of that complexity 
and variety does not decrease with 
depth, as though approaching a limit 
at som.e final boundary level, but 
seems rather to increase indefinitely. 
The history of science has not un- 
earthed any evidence that with in- 
creasing depth complexity dissolves 
into some sort of ultimate simplicity. 
The evidence actually points the 
other way. 

P5. N attire seems then to be un- 
bounded not only in space and time, 
but also in depth. It is not a closed, 
but an open, world. The notion of un- 
boundedness has been a familiar one 
in science for some time; for in 
physics ever since Einstein it has 
been common to speak of the space- 
time continuum as finite but un- 
bounded. It should not then be too 
difficult to think of depth, or inter- 

iority, in similar fashion. What this 
means is that the series of successive 
levels is unlimited; that, analogically 
speaking, there is no "bottom" if we 
go "downward," and no "top" or 
"ceiling" if we go "upward," into the 
depths of the space-time-depth con- 
tinuum of nature.^ Apropos of this 
boundlessness of depth, David Bohm 
has made the exceedingly interesting 
suggestion, in harmony with his idea 
of the qualitative infinity of nature, 
that at great depths reality may be so 
very different that the concept of 
level itself may have to be abandoned 
for another, or be greatly modified or 

P6. Nature has not been fixed in 
time, but has been changing — ''crea- 
tively',' i.e., by the successive emer- 
gences of novelty. These have been 
characterized by increasing complex- 
ity and organization. The evolution- 
ary story of the long history of na- 
ture supports this generalization. 

At this point of our summary let 
us introduce the term mystery. Many 
scientists have been saying recently 
that the process of scientific discovery 
has disclosed nature to be such that 
an answer to any given question 
opens up many new questions, and 
that the answer to each of these leads 
to still others, and so on in a diverg- 

^See my "Seeing the Unseen" in Wesley an Studies in Religion, 1963-64, ("West Vir- 
ginia Wesleyan College) ; also in Motive, October, 1963. 

■^I suggest that this be found to be true no matter what level we may begin our explora- 
tion downward or upward, inward or outward. 

SBohm, op. cit., p. 139. 



ing series of more and more, rather 
than a converging one of fewer 
and fewer, questions. Apparently in- 
creasing the known does not decrease 
the unknown. Here, k would seem, 
is genuine, unbounded openness and 
genuine unfathomable mystery. This 
conception enables us then to dis- 
tinguish between temporary and per- 
manent mystery, or between the 
superficial mystery and the mystery 
of depth. The history of science is a 
remarkable success story of the find- 
ing and resolving of transient mys- 
teries. And yet that very history has 
shown also that the resolving of each 
such mystery has led to innumerable 
others; and that as the questioning 
has been pushed to deeper levels and 
added to our knowledge and under- 
standing, it has at the same time dis- 
closed more complexity and diversity. 
It is then by way of partial definition 
that I offer the seventh proposition. 
(P7) Genuine, permanent mystery 
marks that state of affairs, or that 
qiiality of reality, because of which 
each answer to a question about real- 
ity leads to indefinitely more ques- 
tions, and so on and on — in a diver- 
gent rather than convergent series. I 
submit that it refers not to a subjec- 
tive state of affairs, but to a definitely 
objective one. It is not conjured up 
by our minds, but is imposed on 
them by the way things actually are. 
There are at least four other 
aspects of the permanent mystery of 
nature that call for recognition here. 

In terms of present knowledge it 
seems that, like the space-time-depth 
continuum, (P8) the network of so- 
called cause-and-effect relationships 
among physical entities existing in 
that continuum is also unbounded — 
open, not closed. This signifies that 
nature is not deterministic, and that 
events are "brought about" by both 
"cause" and "chance"; that they are 
in part prediaable and in part un- 
predictable. A symbolic scheme used 
for prediction at one level of depth, 
does not in general apply directly at 
others. Natural laws are not universal, 
but limited, in the range and level of 
their applicability. The hope of 
scientists to be able to find the grand 
all-inclusive equation, by which the 
physical universe could be fully ex- 
plained and its future fully predicted, 
undoubtedly has had great motivat- 
ing value, but it is doubtful that it is 
justified by any logic that takes into 
account the stubborn autonomies and 
limitless complexities in the depths 
of nature — as well as the implications 
of the next proposition. 

P9. There may noiu exist realms 
of physical reality with extension 
throughout space-time-depth of which 
we are not aware. Certainly there are 
now realities to which man has no 
direct access through his senses, but 
which are known by indirect means. 
Magnetism is one of these. Electricity 
is another. Science was utterly un- 
aware of the latter for a very long 
time, i.e., up to the seventeenth cen- 



tury; and yet how boundless and all- 
pervasive it is now known to be! To 
suppose that there may not be still 
others just as pervasive, yet still be- 
yond our ken, would be foolhardy in- 
deed. A break-through into one or 
more of them could happen at any 
time. The possibility, or even prob- 
ability, that, however much we may 
know at any given time, there may 
be entire realms or kinds of reality 
the existence of which we are not 
even aware, together with the impos- 
sibility of ever knowing whether this 
is or is not actually the case, is an im- 
portant aspect of the genuine mystery 
of things as they are. 

PIO. But there are also questions 
about things as they are to he. In all 
likelihood nature is still in the mak- 
ing and new realms of reality will 
appear in time. This has happened in 
the past; why not also in the future? 
Since there is no evidence that such 
becomings are at all predictable — 
except by vague and very general 
long-range extrapolation of past 
trends — here is another component of 
genuine mystery. 

The last element of mystery we 
should consider here resides in the 
unavailability of ultimate explanation 
or understanding. As has been said 
many times, (Pll) science offers ex- 
planations in only a limited and im- 
m^ediate sense, namely in answer to 

questions of how things happen, not 
of why — in a final sense. The latter 
remain utter mystery tvhich its end- 
less succession of how-questions and 
answers poi^its to, hut does not re- 
solve. To answer the how-kind of 
questions science identifies pertinent 
empirical functional relationships, so- 
called laws of nature, that do in fact 
exist among observed variables and 
constants, or events, and then points 
to these as the explanations. In seek- 
ing to understand the explanations or 
empirical laws, ix. then constructs 
symbolic systems called theories 
which enable it to see a number of 
laws as being related concepmally, 
and by which both they and the 
individual events can be derived 
(predicted) deductively. A scientist 
speaks then of "understanding" a 
body of many facts or phenomena 
when he can in this way show them 
to be derivable from one theory. 
While this is a most impressive and 
exceedingly fruitful kind of under- 
standing, it still leaves unanswered 
the haunting question of ivhy nature 
is so structured that science has been 
impelled toward those explanations 
and that understanding rather than 
others. Presumably the world could 
have been different. Why not?® 

Let us now reflect briefly upon 
these findings in the hope of guard- 
ing against some unwarranted impli- 

^This question is considered most congently from a somewhat different point of view 
by Thomas F. Green, "The Importance of Fairy Tales," in The Educational Forum, 
November, 1963. 



cations. We present three more prop- 
ositions as points of departure for 
these reflections. 

PI 2. From the very nature of mys- 
tery, as we have conceived it, we 
must be forewarned that it is im-pos- 
sible either to demonstrate or deny its 
reality in nature by either formal 
logic or the usual verification proc- 
esses of science. This follows from 
its essential openendedness, its un- 
boundedness in space, time and 
depth. The discovery of lasting mys- 
tery as an objective quality of nature, 
is not an inevitable or certain conse- 
quence of scientific methodology. 

On the other hand, (P13) the 
evidence pointing to the reality of 
inexhaustible mystery can, and often 
does, become convincing, even if not 
compelling beyond any possibility of 
doubt, as it accumulates in time; 
hence, the relevance of our earlier 

It is now necessary to disavow an 
attitude toward the idea of ultimate 
mystery that was once widely prev- 
alent, and is still not unknown in 
some quarters today. (P14) The mys- 
tery of nature is not to be thought of 
as a realm that is sacrosanct, not to 
be invaded by human inquiry, "some- 
thing IV e are not supposed to knotv." 
In the life and thought of man it has 
been a perpetually beckoning and 
chaUenging mystery to which the 
response has been a compomid of 
wonder and the search for under- 
standing by all available means, of 

confidence that the search will yield 
truth, and of a humble realization 
that, however many mysteries the 
search resolves and however much 
truth it does yield, the mystery still 
remains inexhaustible. Science has 
been this kind of a response. 

Many scientists shy away from, or 
even positively object to, applying 
the word "mystery" to nature. They 
insist that the "mystery of the heav- 
ens" has disappeared, or that the 
"mystery" of life, and of mind, is 
rapidly vanishing. I suspect, however, 
that such insistence represents for 
the most part a reaction against the 
taboo conception of, and attitude 
toward, mystery, rather than a denial 
of the basically mysterious quality of 
things. Certainly the mystery of life 
— as also of mind and many other 
components of nature — is vanishing 
in one sense. Yet in another k is in- 
creasing. The more we know about 
how things are in fact, the more is 
the wonder that in fact they are not 

It is of a piece with our concep- 
tion of nature's mystery, i.e., in terms 
of the endless cascades of questions 
it calls forth, that the spirit of science 
is commonly held to be symbolized 
more adequately by its restless quest- 
ing than by its successful finding. 
Science would cease if it ever lost its 
insistence that no answer is ever be- 
yond further questioning. Surely this 
is attributable not simply to the 
scientist's psychological make-up by 



which he is sentenced forever to call 
things in question, but to the fact that 
the world he is trying to understand 
is inexhaustibly challenging — myster- 

There are other aspects of nature 
about which we have been silent thus 
far. It not only builds up, but tears 
down. (P15) Nature has apparently 
unbounded depths of destructiveness 
and inconsistency. This is one of the 
m-ost perplexing components of na- 
ture's 7nystery. 

By its destructiveness we usually 
mean conflagration and flood, earth- 
quake and tidal wave, hurricane and 
tornado, drought and famine, disease 
and epidemic. Though very real this 
is not all of it; witness, for instance, 
the prodigality of death in the so- 
called saber-tooth-and-claw competi- 
tion for survival. 

The term inconsistency refers to 
nature's irrationality in working 
against itself much of the time. 
While it has developed marvelously 
ingenious mechanisms and processes 
for the qualitative improvement of 
the species and of life in general, ir 
has at the same time produced others 
equally potent for deterioration. Thus 
it exhibits helpful symbiosis, i.e., a 
relationship of interdependence be- 
tv,^een, say, tw^o species of animals in 

v/hich each contributes to the other 
something that is indispensable and 
otherwise unavailable to it. Yet 
ironically there is also parasitism, in 
which one species lives on another, 
causing it much pain and suffering, 
and often even death. As an example 
of a less lethal, yet terribly agonizing 
kind of parasitism, Julian Huxley 
cites the case of fly maggots that live 
in the noses of various animals. A 
different kind of cruel inconsistency 
of nature is exemplified by the birth 
of monstrosities to normal parents. 

In concluding this section I call at- 
tention, briefly without exposition, to 
three potent terms or concepts for 
v/hich we are indebted to three theo- 
logians who have been doing much 
thinking about nature and science. 
Each of them denotes important 
shades of meaning beyond that of 
m.ere inconsistency, meanings that 
refer to aspects of nature that are 
objectively observable and very real. 
They do not enter the picture first 
through preconception or theory, but 
through direct experience. Bernard 
E. Meland speaks of nature as being 
characterized by both manageability 
and unmanage ability . Paul Tillich's 
term is the aTnbiguities of life, and 
J. S. Habgood's the untidiness of 

I'^Bernard E. Meland, The Realities of Faith (Oxford University Press, 1962), p. 93; 
Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, Vol. Ill (University of Chicago Press), Ch. I; 
J. S. Habgood, Religion and Science (Mills and Boon, London, 1964), Ch. I (soon 
to be published under another title by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Nev/ York). 
Though now a clergyman, Habgood is a highly trained scientist, and his book is 
Number Eight in a series entitled Science and Society. 




The subject of this section is 

in a sense climactic for our study, for 
it shifts our attention to a much 
larger perspective, and connects his- 
tory with nature. For the most part 
thus far our point of view has been 
terrestrial, even though we did men- 
tion astronomy briefly. We must now 
take a more explicitly transterrestrial 
look at nature, and adopt a cosmic 
stance. It seems trite to say that man 
cannot understand himself unless in 
an historic perspective. What seems 
to be forgotten too often, however, is 
that to be truly informing that per- 
spective must take in more than 
human history, and must be seen in 
relation to the long sweeps of ter- 
restrial pre-human history, and no 
less in the light of an ill-inclusive 
cosmic history. 

Many converging lines of evidence 
indicate that the earth's age is about 
two billion years. In order to give us 
some sense of proportion as to vari- 
ous developments within that time, 
G. M. McKinley has worked out a 
remarkably enlightening time scale 
as follows.^^ Let the two billion years 
be represented by one calendar year, 
so that January 1 would be the be- 
ginning of terrestrial history, and 
December 31 the present. On this 
scale one day represents approxi- 

i^G. M. McKinley, Evolution: The Ages 
p. 55 ff. 

mately 5,500,000 years, one hour 
somewhat more than 200,000 years, 
one minute about 4000 years, and 
one second roughly 65 years. Accord- 
ing to contemporary understandings, 
on this scale the beginnings of life, in 
the form of self-replicating, long 
chain molecules, appeared in Febru- 
ary. In April simple unicellular 
organisms emerged, and late in May 
the primitive invertebrates. Land 
plants came on the scene in the sum- 
mer ( midway in the two billion year 
span), and the large reptiles, brainy 
mammals and birds in the fall. "Then 
on the last day of the year, December 
31, just some four hours before mid- 
night, man appears walking grace- 
fully erect and equipped with sensi- 
tive, marvelously sensitive hands. . . . 
An hour or so later he makes tenta- 
tive efforts at social life, but it is not 
until the last minute of the year, that 
his first civilization is organized." 

Clearly, human history is a very 
short interval in the totality of ter- 
restrial history. This must not be lost 
sight of. And yet despite its brevity it 
is in many ways the most remarkable 
of intervals, considering how much 
has transpired within it. Apparently 
in no earlier interval of equal length 
was the rate of change ever so tre- 
mendous, and the frequency of emer- 
gence of novelty quite so high as in 
this one. Preparation for the appear- 

nd Tomorrow, Ronald, New York, 1956, 



ance of mind took a very, very long 
time, but when it actually arrived on 
the scene activity took on an entirely 
nevv^ tempo and character, as when, 
after a full year's preparation of a 
small bud by a plant, there suddenly 
bursts forth in but a few moments a 
large, many petalled, multihued 
flower. What this means is that hu- 
man history must not be regarded as 
a relatively isolated, independent in- 
vasion of terrestrial history, but as an 
event inseparably a part of it, and 
causally an outcome of its processes. 

It is equally true, however, that 
terrestrial history is itself but an 
integral part of, and a causal conse- 
quence of the processes of, trans- 
terrestrial, cosmic history; and with- 
out doubt it is a short interval in it. 
Human history is then an even 
smaller fraction of cosmic history 
than it is of terrestrial history. A dis- 
covery of modern astronomy that for 
present purposes is especially signifi- 
cant is the high probability of the 
existence among the stars of myriads 
of planets suitable for habitation by 
beings with bodies and minds some- 
what like ours. Harlow Shapley goes 
so far as to assert that "fpJ-Ilions of 
planetary systems must exist, and bil- 
lions is the better word," and that 
"we are not alone." If this is so, and 
there certainly seems to be no good 
reason for doubting it from a scien- 

tific point of view, terrestrial human 
history is not only an exceedingly 
small part of a much longer celestial 
history, but is only one of very many 
other humanlike histories. Moreover, 
it seems likely that the origins of 
these did not coincide in time, and 
that therefore some — perhaps even 
many — human-like races of beings 
have existed elsewhere in space, and 
in their evolution have achieved high 
orders of physical, mental, and social 
development, long before ours was 
born, perhaps even before our planet 
was born. One wonders whether some 
of them may not even have come and 
gone, in some sense, long ago. (Pl6) 
There is good reason to suppose that 
htiman history covers hut a minuscule 
span of time in the total history of 
nature, and that the terrestrial race of 
man is but one of many human-like 
races that have emerged in cosmic 
history, of tvhose individual histories 
some overlap in time, and others do 
not. Here is another component of 
nature's mystery: the mystery of other 
inhabitable tvorlds and their histories 
— in the past, present, and future. 


We now turn briefly to the 
question whether the scientific view 
of nature we have considered^- can 
tell us anything about God. Might its 

i-The scientific view of nature that is embodied in the propositions of precedim 
tions, and will hereafter be referred to by the symbol SV. 



imagery contribute significantly to 
the development of concepts and 
symbols of God that are truly mean- 
ingful in our time? Of course this is 
a far-reaching question that cannot 
be answered in a few pages; for, as I 
have suggested elsewhere, such con- 
ceptualization is formidable and de- 
manding business, and requires the 
extensive exploration of three large 
areas of meaning with respect to the 
term "God"; meaning-by-empirical 
analysis, mieaning-by-intuition, and 
meaning-by-postulation.^" The first 
and third of these require the kind of 
formal and critical analysis we can- 
not go into here and must reserve for 
another essay. 

What we shall concern ourselves 
with now for the most part is the 
second meaning, that by-intuition. To 
focus our attention on this particular 
meaning is in a sense to ask our basic 
question in a somewhat different 
way: How may the insights of SV be 
helpful and illuminating as we think 
meditatively about God.^ The term 
think refers here not to the guarded, 
logically sequential reasoning that 
eventuates in carefully formulated 
conclusions, but to the more free- 
wheeling, yet no less potent, intuitive 
reflections and leaps of the imagina- 
tion that proceed without precise 
definitions and yield informal con- 
clusions. It may at times even be an 

unconscious or subconscious aware- 
ness through "feelings in one's bones" 
— or what is sometimes called "think- 
ing with the heart." It is the kind the 
psalmist must have been doing when 
he burst forth with, "The heavens de- 
clare the glory of God; and the firma- 
ment showeth his handiv/ork. ..." 

In proceeding along these lines I 
shall quite frankly be thinking as a 
Christian, i.e., a member of a historic 
community in whose experience God 
has been, and continues to be, very 
real, and for whom therefore the con- 
cept of God is truly meaningful. I am 
net seeking more "evidence for the 
existence of God," but more insight 
and more meaningful symbols for 
reflecting upon and worshipping the 
God I am already aware of — and I 
am asking whether such additional 
insights, meanings, and symbols can 
come at least in part out of science. 
At no time have I said or supposed 
that nature "reveals" God, or can pro- 
vide a "foundation" for faith in God; 
and I shall not now repudiate that 
view. I have said, however, that 
science points beyond its own defini- 
tive findings toward the reality of 
ultimate mystery — which is a differ- 
ent matter — and I shall now urge the 
view that nature, once it is regarded 
as the "ongoing creation of God" 
("His handiwork"), does through 
the eye of faith yield important in- 

i-'^Harold K. Schilling, Science and Religion, An Interpretation of Two Communities 
(Scribners, 1962), Ch. IX. 



sights about God that are not discern- 
ible in any other way. 

Remembering that we are now 
seeking meanings mostly with the 
eye of intuitive perception that sees 
things in wholes or in terms of over- 
all patterns without benefit of prior 
detailed analysis, what might a latter 
day psalmist mean if upon reflecting 
broadly on SV he were to sing out a 
contemporary equivalent of "The 
heavens declare. . . ."? What might 
his first reaction be upon "seeing" so 
much that his predecessors of long 
ago are not likely to have seen? I sus- 
pect that it would be a reaaion of 
overwhelming wonder, with a sense 
of tremendous, majestic, awe-full 
mystery; a mystery at once un- 
bounded and unfathomable and yet 
perpetually beckoning and reward- 
ing; a mystery that has yielded to the 
extraction of immense amounts of 
knowledge and truth and the resolv- 
ing of countless mysteries, and yet 
remains essentially untouched and 
beyond understanding; a mystery of 
limitless spatial and temporal im- 
mensity, but also of innumerable di- 
mensions and depths; a mystery dis- 
playing an infinity of qualitative 
variety, yet also of incredible cohe- 
siveness and unity; consistency and 
ambiguity, order and disorder, causal 
predictability, and pure chance. 

What a grand vision and spectacle 
of mystery SV does present! Perhaps 
its most remarkable feature, how- 
ever, is its being eternally pregnant 

with an inexhaustible potential for 
new actualities, together with a sensi- 
tive experimental adaptiveness to the 
needs of any particular situation, and 
an uninhibited openness toward the 
future. Moreover, looking back in 
retrospect upon its long develop- 
mental history, we can now see what 
no short range perspective could have 
shown; namely, that somehow the 
perpetual stirrings and pressures of 
new being within it, its moment by 
moment reactions and responses to 
situational dilemmas by tentatively 
trying now this, then that, and even 
its wasteful expenditure of substance 
and energy, have in the long run been 
goal-seeking, organizing, and crea- 
tively construaive in character — and 
are therefore meaningful. While 
scientists still debate over the idea of 
any "purpose" or "goal" in nature, 
there is little disagreement that as a 
matter of fact successive major emer- 
gences have built upon, not cancelled 
or negated, preceding ones, and that 
therefore the long-range develop- 
mental curve has been as consistently 
"upward," i.e., toward consciousness 
and sociality, as though these were 
actual goals. 

Now I ask: Is it reasonable to sup- 
pose that from all this we can con- 
clude nothing about God, as some 
theologians seem to insist when they 
say that we know nothing about God 
except what has been revealed 
through Jesus Christ? The ancient 
psalmists probably knew almost noth- 



ing about the remarkable aspects of 
nature portrayed in SV; even so for 
them nature did declare God's glory. 
Is it credible that if such knowledge 
and insight had come to them they 
would have written it off as of no 
significance for their conceptions of, 
or faith in, God? 

There are of course more specific 
aspects of SV — aside from the more 
general ones of mystery, depth, open- 
ness and goal-seeking — that may 
signify something about God. Among 
them are the following ones: that the 
processes of genesis, emergence, and 
developmental growth in nature have 
been operative for aeons upon aeons 
of time and in countless galaxies of 
planetary system^s throughout endless 
space; and that in their depths all 
components of reality now seem to 
be dynamic rather than static, chang- 
ing rather than fixed; and that their 
most basic constituent realities are 
now thought to be relationships, 
rather than substances in the old 
sense, and to be characterized by 
complexity more than simplicity. 

To work out precisely these and 
many other implications of both the 
general and more specific aspects of 
SV for religious thought will, of 
course, require much more than the 
informal, intuitive "thinking with the 
heart" that we have engaged in here. 
For this task nothing less than the 
cold-blooded, critical, logically rigor- 
ous thinking, the empirical analysis 
and postulational theorizing of sys- 

tematic theology, aided by the newer 
metaphysics and the resources of 
many other disciplines, will do. It is 
for just such a broad frontal coopera- 
tive attack upon the problem by 
many Christian scholars from many 
fields that I am pleading. 

Finally I raise a question that re- 
flects the "practical" mood of many 
people today, including many in the 
Church. What if the natural world 
does have many levels of depth, is 
unbounded and open, and truly mys- 
terious — or not? Isn't this much ado 
about nothing? Does it really make 
any difference how we think theolog- 
ically about God, and whether we do 
k in terms of mystery or not? What 
difference — in the way we work, play, 
love, hate, and die? This question 
too demands much more rigorous 
thought than we can giYQ it here. Per- 
haps it is the most difficult one of all. 
I offer then only a few brief remarks 
about it. 

First, there is a constant interaction 
between thought and act. Much more 
than is often realized, what we do is 
determined by how we think abstract- 
ly, and our abstract thought is deter- 
mined by what we do. Much of this 
interplay is, of course, subconscious, 
and is known to be very potent in its 
effects — perhaps nowhere more so 
than in religion. This is of itself not 
sufficient, however, completely to 
shape the character of our attitudes 
and actions. To a large extent they are 
affected also by our conscious, deli- 


berate thinking, including our "theo- tuitively perceived 



retical" thinking. Hence it does make 
a "practical" difference in our lives 
how we think consciously — theolog- 
ically — about God. Some ways of 
conceptualizing God enrich our work- 
aday lives and others impoverish 

Second, it will make a very great 
difference whether we think of God 
as open, dynamic, creative mystery, 
or as a being whose nature can be 
known with considerable certainty 
and whose attributes can be specified 
by a closed and fixed doctrinal sys- 
tem.. The one makes for intellectual 
and spiritual power, for adventurous 
faith, and expectant openness to the 
future, while the other tends to stul- 
tify, to substitute religious self- 
complacency for faith, and to make 
difficult the acceptance of the new 
and the passage into the future. If SV 
with its new appreciation of mystery 
can to any extent impel us in the 
direction of the former of these con- 
ceptions, its contribution to religious 
thought will be tremendous. 

Its contribution would be even 
more significant, however, especially 
with respect to our situation today, 
if it helped us not only to see the 
theological implication of the reality 
of genuine mystery conceived intel- 
lectually, but to rehabilitate and 
sharpen our sensitivity to mystery in- 

and to the 
lated mysterious qualities of un- 
boundedness and depth. The older 
scientific views of nature, as shallow, 
closed and unmysterious, tended to 
denigrate and blunt that sensitivity, 
with rather serious consequences. The 
newer ones seem to me destined to 
change much of this — if men will 
respond to them. It is my fervent 
hope that Christian thought, includ- 
ing theology, will increasingly be 
found to be leading in the response. 


This leadership is by no means 
negligible now. While Karl Barth, to 
whom I referred earlier, seems to 
have missed the genuine mystery 
aspects of nature and science's aware- 
ness of them, there are others who 
have not. It is well known, for in- 
stance, that depth, limitlessness, and 
mystery have played a central role in 
Paul Tillich's thought, and that he 
sees with great clarity that nature has 
these qualities. I was delighted to dis- 
cover recently that he defines mys- 
tery essentially as I have in proposi- 
tion VI }^ 

Bernard E. Meland's remarkable 
book The Realities of Faith^^ presents 
what is probably the most compre- 
hensive treatment of the implications 
of SV for theology that is available 

i-^Tillich, op. cit. 
i^Meland, op. cit. 



today. He has thought about these 
matters with amazing originality and 
depth of insight. I for one am greatly 
in his debt. 

The stance toward contemporary 
science adopted by H. Richard Nie- 
buhr in his Radical Monotheism and 
Western Culture^^ is most apprecia- 
tive and understanding, and his 
volume seems to me to present an 
especially hospitable theological cli- 
mate in which to explore its mean- 
ing for Christian thought. 

A theologian whose thought re- 
veals a delicately balanced sensitivity 
to, and understanding of, the verities 
of both the gospel and of science is 
Daniel Day Williams. For a long 

time he has insisted that we must 
pay more attention to the latter. His 
grand book God's Grace and Man's 
Ho'pe'^'^ shows that this can be done 
without sacrificing basic Christian 

For a technically less formidable 
book that shows gratifying under- 
standing of SV and explores its 
significance for Christian thought 
with considerable cogency the reader 
is referred to Albert N. Wells' The 
Christian Message in a Scientific 

There are of course other theolo- 
gians who have made important con- 
tributions in this field, notably in 

i^Harpers, I960. 
^^Harpers, 1949. 


^John Knox Press, 1962. 

The Claims of Our Heritage 

by Donald F. Campbell 

And he took up the mantle of Elijah that 
had fallen from him. II Kings 2 : 13a 

1 HE STORY OF ELIJAH AND Elisha is repeated in every generation. The 
prophets of God pick up the mantle of those gone before, and if they are 
of a serious mind, will, like Elisha, ask for a double portion of the spirit of 
those gone before. 

"In every aspect of life we inherit from the past. We speak the language 
we inherited from our culture. Our lives are molded by the habits and cus- 
toms, the thought forms and ideals of our family and nation. We are trained 
in the religious conviction and moral ideals of the family and church from 
which we com.e. We inherit the political organization, the industry and com- 
merce, the accumulated knowledge and scientific achievements of the past. 
We are the heirs of the ages, inheriting buildings and cities, literature and 
music, paintings and sculpture, things we could not have won for ourselves."^ 

Progress is only made possible by building upon our inheritance. Each 
generation is able to use the achievements of the past and carry them on to 
greater achievement. 

It is occasionally my pleasure to attend the annual boat show at the New 
York Coliseum. Every year there seem to be new advances in design both 
inside and out. One would think that this would be impossible in light of the 
fact that boats may be the oldest conveyance known to mankind. Could we 
really make progress in boat design as well as in the techniques of boat build- 
ing after three thousand years? It appears that we can. 

Yet in the realm of religion there are many who believe that no progress 
can be made. In every generation men have sought for God and God has 
sought for men — revealing Himself to men as they have responded to Him. 
There was a long preparation for the coming of Christ; and since his day 
there has been built up a tradition by saints and martyrs, by humble Chris- 
tians who taught the faith to their children, by preachers and professors, 
ministers and missionaries. 

H. D. Budden of England. 



As we look at the past — one hundred or two hundred years ago — we are 
today convinced that in understanding the fulness of the Gospel we have 
made some progress. The old time religion is not good enough for us. 

We say this knowing that there are regrets because much of what was 
good and excellent a century or two ago has been lost along with some reli- 
gious blindness and narrowness which in good conscience we can no longer 

Yet we dare not stretch the parallel between material progress and spir- 
itual progress too far. There is in our religious heritage a profound difference. 
We are born into a so-called Christian culture, we may grow up in a Chris- 
tian home, we may be trained in Christian thought and conduct. We are 
nurtured in the Christian Church. We may be ordained into its ministry, but 
that does not make us Christians. 

When Elisha took up the mantle cast down by his predecessor it was an 
act of response and dedication. He was saying as Isaiah said in later days, 
"Here am I, send me." He had made his personal act of committal to God; 
and when the sons of the prophets met him, they knew him to be a God- 
possessed man. 

There must be something of that in every Christian. To be born and 
trained in a Christian tradition is one thing. To have others know that we 
are committed to Jesus Christ day by day is another. 

And in this day when the Christian Community, the fellowship, is so 
emphasized, we cannot afford to forget that there is something essentially 
individual in the Christian acceptance of our religious heritage. 

All too often we v/ho have the responsibilit}^ of shepherds look to some 
new novelty in a church program, some organizational genius, some new 
architecture or new liturgy to convey the power of the Holy Spirit to our 
people; and as good as these may be, they seldom bring Jesus Christ to our 
individual church members. There is no substitute for personal commitment 
— renewed again and again. 

There are movements away from the Church of Christ in our modern 
world — just when we thought that religion was booming and church walls 
were bursting. Many who were nurtured in the Christian faith have aban- 
doned their religious heritage, sometimes for the sake of pagan pleasures, 
sometimes for the sake of political theories, and sometimes, with some justi- 
fication, because of their impatience with a church that seemed to be uncon- 
cerned about human wrongs — because the Church looked to self -perpetuation 
while forgetting self-sacrifice. In spite of this the Church grows. It appears 


that each succeeding generation is increasingly wilHng to let go all the past 
for an unknown future. In some respects we know this is good and thank 
God for the exuberant faith and hope of some of our youth. 

Maybe if we are young enough, we haven't met enough defeats to make 
us timid when looking to the future. But if we are not so young, if our hair 
is greying, our footsteps slower than they were a few years ago, if people 
think of us as beyond our prime, we do not feel too eager for conflict. We 
look for a greater measure of peace, less strife, less noise, less confusion. 

At twenty-five we see few ghosts of the past. At seventy there are many. 
At thirty God gives us zeal and vision to match our faith, for seeing and 
tackling big jobs ahead. At sixty we just pray to finish some uncompleted 
task. Hence our holding on to the past is often motivated more by lethargy 
than by selectivity. 

But to the committed Christian, age is not the important factor. There 
is always a future; it is always exciting. Hope is not as much related to age 
as it is to religious faith. The mantle of responsibility and faith that has 
fallen on you and me brings with it the best of the past, but we are noi 
expected to be thereby satisfied with our heritage alone. 

I hope not to be misunderstood when I say that the Church's greatest 
failure the past several years may well be due to its conservatism — our 
dependence upon past structure while forgetting the necessity for contem- 
porary methods of evangelism and service. We have so endeavored to protect 
our sacred past that we have failed to look to the future. We know we must 
conserve the eternal truths — that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and 
forever. But while conserving the kernel, we have also held fast much of the 
chaff; and in doing so the world may be passing us by in the realm of active, 
intelligent service to mankind. 

A businessman who used the methods of a generation ago would not 
long remain in this competitive field. A physics professor who used his 1930 
lecrares in class would be dismissed from any reputable school. Commerce, 
medicine, education are all based soundly upon the experience of the past, 
but they don't remain in the past. They advance or die. Can we expect the 
Church to be different? Elisha had a different task than Elijah even though 
God had not changed. 

Several years ago Bishop Angus Dun preached a sermon entitled "The 
Church on the March." I'd like to quote or paraphrase a small portion of that 
sermon while adding a bit to it. 

"God's people are still on the march. They don't make much noise about 
it. Their miarching songs are rather feeble. Their commander is the same even 


though some are not as sure of His way as were their fathers before them. 
They march somewhat the same direction, but there are many paths. Closed 
formation is not the order of the day, for there is the Presbyterian column, 
the Methodist battalion, the Roman army, the Episcopalian division, and 
many others. Their king is the same and although they carry many banners, 
they all carry one cross."^ 

The people of God now are called the Church, and this Church moves 
in many lands. In our own land the Church often faces the temptations of 
success where the gospel is easily corrupted into a success religion and the 
mission of the Church is presented as a success story. Here, few people ask if 
the Holy Spirit is reaching the lives of the people. They seem more interested 
in whether or not the Church is comfortable and whether they have more 
organizations and better music that the Church around the corner. 

But the Church still moves. It touches some of the privileged to the 
point where they will g'we generously that the Church may continue and that 
the King may really have a kingdom of which they are not ashamed. 

When one of the soldiers sacrifices beyond what is expected, even the 
officers are surprised. Within the ranks there are those who, though meaning 
well, are a drag upon the others. They have heard about the King but have 
never met him personally. They are a little unhappy about the journey — 
the end in view is too idealistic so they try to make the Church less than it 
ought to be. They refuse to carry their own weight, not really knowing the 
purpose of the march. 

"Some fall out of rank after they fall out of step, because they have no 
stomach for the journey."- They forget that the people on the march are a 
Christian fellowship supposedly encouraging one another. 

A few desert the ranks because they don't get along with their fellow 
soldiers. Others just ask for a transfer to another division — which is more 
suited to their style of march — usually slower. 

But Christ's Church is not held up in its progress entirely. Others step 
in and help close ranks. When one marcher has failed at least one other 
volunteer takes his place. 

The captains, who are paid professionals, sometimes lose their esprii de 
corps; for they are more concerned about competition between divisions than 
in cooperation on the journey. 

Thus, by some divine miracle, the Church of Christ moves on — ^midst 

'^Christian World Pulpit. 
-Angus Dun, ibid. 


bickering and criticism of captains and men, midst gossip and pettiness — with 
some wise to the faults of others and blind to faults of their own. Still not 
even this can arrest the march. For the Church is of God and He forgives our 
stupidity. He knows that those who hinder by thinking they are helping may 
be insecure, short-sighted, or frustrated. Hence this love and mercy eventually 
opens their eyes to the purpose of the journey and they re-enlist for the 

Our critics see our faults while often ignoring what Christ is doing 
through his Church. I felt this when I read Harry Golden's amusing criticism 
in Life a few years ago. He wrote: "If I was faced today with the decisions 
my ancestors faced — become a Christian or die — I would pick a church fast. 
There is nothing to offend me in the modern church. The minister gives a 
sermon on juvenile delinquency one week; then reviews a movie the next; 
then everyone goes downstairs and plays bingo. The first part of a church 
that's built is the kitchen. Five hundred years from now people will dig up 
these churches and wonder what kind of sacrifices we performed." 

I am sure you all realize the trepidation with which one minister 
preaches to his brethren — many of whom have had more experience in serv- 
ing their Lord. Hence, I do not want to appear to scold an audience whose 
circumstances I do not know. I do know that pride — ^professional or other- 
wise — can destroy a minister's effectiveness. I also believe that self -rejection, 
self-degradation can do the same. 

And no man dare take upon himself the whole burden of his own failure 
or the faithlessness of another, or what he believes is lack of faith on the part 
of his Church. The burden would be crushing and the martyrdom of the 
crushed would be false; for that burden has been borne for all times — from 
Israel's defection through the crucifixion and the fulfillment of promise on 
Easter morning, the promise pronounced so long ago through Jeremiah, "I 
wiU heal your faithlessness." It is a promise relevant to the Church in our day. 

No man dare take upon himself that burden of faithlessness, but no 
Christian can deny Christ the right to bear that burden for us, for to do so 
could only mean a blasphemous silence in answer to his death and rising, as 
though it had been in vain. By the same token no man can accept the credit 
for any measure of success or spiritual progress the Church may enjoy. That, 
too, belongs to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Book Reviews and Notes 

Eliade, Mircea. From Primitives to Zen: A Thematic Sourcebook on the His- 
tory of Religions. New York: Harper and Row, 1967. Pp. 544. $8.00. 

An ancient Chinese was very proud 
of his ecumenicity: when asked if he 
was a Buddhist, he pointed to his 
Taoist cap; when asked if he was a 
Taoist, he pointed to his Confucian 
shoes; when asked if he was a Con- 
fucian, he pointed to his Buddhist 

Most of us may not be able to be 
so ecumenical, but the increasingly 
close relationship of cultures in our 
day demands that we decide what we 
are able to do vis-a-vis the non- 
Christian religions. The ever growing 
number of books about attitudes to- 
ward other faiths indicates our need 
to know our own minds in an age 
when we can no longer assume a 
priori the superiority of Christianity. 
Even a conservative like Hendrik 
Kraemer admits that in its empirical 
manifestations the Christian faith 
may be socially, morally, or ideation- 
ally less adequate than a particular ex- 
pression of Hinduism or Eaddhism. 
We may be convinced that in some 
sense Christianity is "absolutely" true, 
but how shall we react to Islamic 
success in African missions when 
Christian missions fail by association 
with the color-bar and colonialism? 
Again, how shall we evaluate a type 
of Japanese Buddhism which seems 

to be as solidly based on grace and 
faith as Christianity? Why does Zen 
appeal to many occidentals who find 
Christianity quite unsatisfying? 

As the proportionate number of 
Christians in the world declines 
rapidly in the population explosion 
and as the interrelatedness of all 
aspects of various cultures grows by 
leaps, the smug isolation of Chris- 
tianity is in for a shaking up. In this 
situational context Christians are 
standing in the need of knowledge. 
We have been exploited both by 
earlier missionary accounts which 
evidenced an amazing failure to ap- 
preciate the good in other religions 
and by the modern picture-book ac- 
counts {Life magazine, et al.) which 
would have us believe there is noth- 
ing but good in other religions. What 
we require now is truth. 

One of the ways to gtt at truth is 
to read the scriptures of the world 
and to study the reports about reli- 
gious practices where there are no 
scriptures (primitives). The famous 
University of Chicago Professor 
Mircea Eliade has furnished us with 
one of the best books for this pur- 
pose. Even if one does not read it 
straight through as the author sug- 
gests, it is a mine of valuable refer- 




ence on almost every conceivable 
theme of religion. 

Nevertheless it is this thematic 
treatment which is troublesome. 
Granted the advantage of continuous 
discussion of sacrifice, for instance, 
one may assume a similarity or a con- 
trast which would not be sustained 
by a contextual understanding of the 
particular cultures involved. Every 
theme of the book should have an 
introduction and commentary, which 
in fact are usually lacking. 

The themes well illustrated in this 
"thematic sourcebook on the history 
of religions" include supernatural 
beings, myths of creation and origin, 
man and the sacred, eschatology, mys- 
tics, medicine men and prophets, 
theological speculation. Emphasis on 
primitive religion is strong — 94 out 
of 300 entries. Of course the primi- 
tives are Eliade's specialty, but the 

proportion seems askew. Cultic prac- 
tices receive the largest number of 
pages. Chinese religions seem to be 
slighted — twelve pages on Taoism, 
only five on Confucianism. There is 
nothing from Mencius. Wisely noth- 
ing from Judaism or Christianity is 

A total of 306 entries in 640 pages 
averages little more than two pages 
for each. This is the great problem 
of such a sourcebook. Space limita- 
tion is also responsible for the lack of 
sufficient commentary. The only 
index is an ethnographic one. There 
is a good bibliography. Despite 
inevitable weaknesses, Eliade's book 
is an excellent source of materials, 
particularly for the primitives, which 
would be difficult to find elsewhere. 

— Norman Adams, 
Westminster College. 

Myers, Jacob M. Invitation to the Old Testament: A Layman's Guide to Its 
Major Relis,ious Messages. New York: Doubleday (Waymark Books), 1967. 
Pp. X + 252. $1.95 (cloth, $4.95). 

This paperback edition of Dr. 
Myers' Invitation to the Old Testa- 
ment will be a welcome addition to 
church school libraries. It is geared 
for the layman and is excellently 
v/ritten. It covers, in brief, almost all 
of the books of the Old Testament 

(missing are Deuteronomy, Ruth, 
Lamentations, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, 
Malachi ) . Some of the books missing 
are treated in passing in other chap- 
ters. The chapters on Genesis, 1 and 2 
Isaiah, and Jeremiah are especially 
edifying. Generously sprinkled 



throughout the book are illustrative 
passages, translated afresh in spright- 
ly fashion by Dr. Myers. The opening 
chapter is entitled "Why the Old 
Testament.^" and forms an excellent 
introduction to the whole study. 
There are 3 1 chapters in all and, with 
supplementary readings in the Old 


Testament itself, one could easily 
envisage the book being used for a 
year's course in Sunday School stajSF 
meetings. The cheaper edition makes 
it all the more inviting for study 
group use. (Dr. Myers is presently a 
visiting professor at Pittsburgh. ) 

— Jay C. Rochelle. 

Rolston, Holmes. The "We Knows" of the Apostle Paul. Richmond: John 
Knox, 1966. Pp. 101. 11.65. 

A series of fifteen sermons by the 
editor in chief of the Board of Chris- 
tian Education of the Presbyterian 
Church, U.S. Most of the sermons 
are based upon texts of Paul that 
begin with the words "we know" 
while the others are developed from 
texts that carry a similar idea in dif- 

ferent language. The purpose of these 
sermons is to seek to give "assured 

knowledge" to the ultimate questions 
of human existence by presenting the 
affirmations of the early Church and 
asking a response to them in a "pil- 
grimage of faith." 

Mitton, C. Leslie. The Epistle of ]ames. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966. Pp. 
256. $4.95. 

The bulk of this book by the editor 
of Expository Times, a British "evan- 
gelical" scholar, is an exposition of 
the text and a comparison of it with 
other parts of the New Testament in 
order to show that the letter of James 
is an integral part of the total mes- 
sage of the New Testament. A short 
appendix which presents the "intro- 
ductory" problems concludes the 


Mitton demonstrates his thesis by 
the use of parallels illustrating scrip- 
ture by scripture. This is done with 
care and caution, and he does not fall 
prey to exaggeration of parallels. 
Coupled with this is the acknowledg- 
ment and exploration of differences 
where they exist. 

The occasional use of "weasel" 



words (i.e., generalizations without 
any supporting evidence) to deline- 
ate or define words in texts detracts 
from Mitton's exegesis — e.g., "most 
commonly" (p. 22), "usually" (pp. 
45, 105), "normal meaning", (p. 56), 
"straight forward" (p. 91), "in the 
Bible" (p. 134). What do these 
mean? How are they determined? 
These words appear to be used to 
overpower rather than to demonstrate 

The book's principal deficiency is 
in the discussion of the "key" words 
— righteousness, faith, law, and sin. 
The thoroughness that is apparent 
in the remainder of this work is dis- 
placed with a shallowness that is 
characterized by oversimplification. 
This is most unfortunate, for these 
words are focal points for both James 
and Paul (pp. 103-117 deal primarily 
with the relationship of Paul and 
James ) . 

The exposition of the phrase 
"righteousness of God" in 1:20 is 
limited to the listing of two alterna- 
tive meanings of righteousness. No 
mention is made of Paul's usage of 
this term in Rom. 1:17 that ex- 
presses the theme of that letter. Little 
is said of the Old Testament back- 
ground of this word (and cognates) 
that shows